Following the experience gained in ATC Esercizio in La Spezia, a new Italian trial for the SmartBUS has started in Turin in cooperation with public transport operator GTT (that has recently placed an order for 100 battery-electric buses with BYD). The electric bus is on trial operation on line 19 in the centre of Turin from 1 February for a period of four months.
Joint-venture makers of the fast-charging electric bus named SmartBUS are Chariot Motors with its local Italian partner E-CO. The assembler of the bus is Higer Bus Company Limited.
SmartBUS in Turin, the bus with supercapacitors
SmartBUS stands out for being equipped not with batteries but with supercapacitors (32 kWh): it charges in a few minutes on the line through pantograph stations.
The line where the SmartBUS is operating is 17-km long and features a AC/DC 150 kW charging station at the bus terminal. The charging time of the SmartBUS is 10 minutes. The innovation lies mostrly in the reduced weight and size of the bus, thanks to the use of a latest-generation, high energy density Ultracapacitor storage system, designed by E-CO, capable of recovering maximum energy during braking, more than 35% according to the producer.
Ultracapacitors of various capacities available in the various SmartBUS models (8, 12 and 18-meter), used in place of batteries, can allow distances of over 40 km on a single charge, say the joint venture.