A partnership between two of the world’s leading electronic and engineering companies has seen them announce a new system designed to facilitate more efficient commercial vehicle charging.

Hitachi and ABB have combined  in a company called Hitachi ABB Power Grids and it has launched what they call, Grid-eMotion Fleet, which is described as a “full ‘grid-to-plug’ solution for large-scale public transport and commercial fleets, enabling operators to charge more with less”.

The newly formed joint venture says it is pioneering a broader range of clean solutions for the global mobility market.

The company launched  Grid-eMotion Fleet on line due to the Covid 19 crisis, and claim  the system is  a game-changing grid-to-plug EV charging system that ‘delivers a step-change approach for public transport and commercial operators’.

The smart mobility solution is said to enable operators to ‘efficiently scale up their operations and is expected to contribute to sustainable society for millions living in urban areas’.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids says it has been a global technology leader which has been pioneering EV charging solutions since 2013, when it first introduced innovative flash-charging eBus solutions in both the Swiss city of Geneva and the French city of Nantes.

The company’s Bruce Warner  told the online launch that  it is already engaged in a pilot scheme with the Brisbane City Council  to enable the electrification of the Queensland capital’s bus fleet.

The company says it has collaborated closely with transport operators to identify a market need for a more holistic approach to large-scale charging.

The company says the launch of Grid-eMotion Fleet marks a game-changing shift from a charger-product based approach to a charging-system based approach, which helps to accelerate the future of smart mobility.

Niklas Persson, managing director of Hitachi ABB Power Grids Grid Integration business unit  said the company is leveraging its world-class power systems capabilities together with Hitachi’s advanced digital technologies and proven track record of innovation in smart cities and sustainable mobility.

“The Grid-eMotion Fleet launch is a game-changer for anyone managing public transport and commercial EV fleets,” said Niklas Persson.

“Grid-eMotion Fleet delivers unprecedented scalability, space savings and operational efficiency. The solution will accelerate the global uptake of safe, sustainable and smart mobility, whilst contributing to cleaner air and an enhanced quality of life for today’s generation and those to come,”  he added.

During the online launch the company explained that the Grid-eMotion Fleet solution comes in standard containers that integrate the grid connection and charging systems all together.

The system uses DC technology and can connect to any type of power network, which the company claims it removes the complexities of integrating AC-DC chargers into a system.

Compared to a conventional connection to the AC grid, the solution brings a 60 per cent reduction in space required for large-scale EV fleet charging, whilst the depot cabling is reduced by 40 per cent.

The company says the fast-to-install solution harnesses renewable energy through grid integration, smart mobility, digital energy management system and incorporates insights from data analytics.

Grid-eMotion Fleet leverages Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ smart energy management solution e-mesh EMS to manage and enhances the complete charging infrastructure, calculate bus energy consumption and devise, plan and deliver effective services for passengers.

Digital analysis monitors the battery life data, route data, traffic simulation and depot control to ensure that efficient power use, energy storage and overnight charging is optimised.

The company says  that 80 per cent of municipal bus fleets globally are forecast to be electric by 2040.

It added that more than 400,000 eBuses are already in service around the world  today, and that the number expected to grow to 2.3 million eBuses by 2040. As a result operators now need solutions that go beyond the charger to help them connect seamlessly to the grid to power their expanding EV fleets.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids says it supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the launch of Grid-eMotion Fleet will contribute to furthering progress in respect of SDGs 7 and 11.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids says  as a global technology leader it has a combined heritage of almost 250 years, and employs around 36,000 people in 90 countries.

The company’s headquarters is in Switzerland, with the business serving utility, industry and infrastructure customers across the value chain, and emerging areas like sustainable mobility, smart cities, energy storage and data centres.