Siemens wins electric buses charging deal in Germany


Charging infrastructure for 21 fully electric low-floor buses in Leipzig, Germany, will be provided by Siemens Smart Infrastructure.

VDL Bus & Coach received the contract from the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB) GmbH, the public transport operator in Leipzig.

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The charging systems from Siemens will supply electrical energy to VDL buses on three lines as well as at the Lindenau bus depot and are scheduled to go into operation in 2021.

The electrification of local public transport is a major step forward in sustainable urban planning. With its Mobility Strategy 2030, the City of Leipzig also aims to develop environmentally-friendly transport systems.

Siemens will deliver systems for charging the 21 electric buses along the routes as well as in the depot. Four terminal stations will be equipped with a total of five Sicharge UC 600 fast-charging units with an effective power of 450 kilowatts (kW) for opportunity charging.

The medium-voltage connection, the transformer as well as the low-voltage power distribution will be integrated into the charging stations to facilitate the hook-up to the local power grid. This compact design of the charging stations allows for space-saving installation.

At the depot, buses will be charged primarily overnight or during other operational breaks using 21 Sicharge UC 100 charging units with charging power of up to 100 kW.

In both systems, the connection is realized via contact hoods. This means that like a streetcar, the buses will be equipped with a pantograph that is moved bottom-up for charging. The vehicle charges automatically via the contact rails mounted in the hood.

“Switching to electric bus transport requires not only the vehicles but also an efficient charging infrastructure that guarantees reliable operation. We are pleased to have Siemens with its widely diversified portfolio and expertise as our partner in this project,” said Boris Höltermann, Managing Director of VDL Bus & Coach Germany.

“I’m confident that, together with VDL and the Leipzig transport operator LVB, we will make the transition to electric buses with ease,” said Jean-Christoph Heyne, Head of Future Grids at Siemens Smart Infrastructure.

“eBus depots will play a particularly important role in the cities of the future. During the planning stage, it is important to design the overall system according to the customer’s individual needs, including power supply, charging technology and control of the charging processes. This requires the best possible combination of the energy, mobility, and building worlds,” concludes Heyne.