ABB Powers Progress for Milan’s Electric Bus Network

ABB Terra 124 chargers have been installed in Italy, as the industrial metropolis of Milan swaps its 1,200 diesel buses for brand new, all-electric ones by 2030.

Image Credit: ABB Electrification

As a leading global supplier of e-mobility technology, ABB worked with Milan’s public transport company ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi) to deliver a turnkey solution for its San Donato depot. This is the first of four fully electrical depots planned for the city and a pilot site for innovative new charging solutions.

Designed with sustainability and longevity in mind, the installation at San Donato will help ATM meet its forecast to reduce diesel demand by 30 million liters per year and cut CO2 emissions by 75,000 tons per year by 2030.

ABB’s Terra 124 chargers have been installed in the depot’s parking area. One charger can fast charge two vehicles at the same time, optimizing the installation cost and minimizing impact. The e-buses are scheduled to charge during the night when it is more cost effective, and with a range of up to 180km in normal conditions, this is enough for the e-buses to remain in use all day without the need for interim charging.  

The project to supply ATM with charging infrastructure for the pilot depot was completed in just three months. This included the planning and installation of the electric infrastructure (featuring low- and medium-voltage switchgear) and the connection of the charging system to the ATM substation.

As the pilot charging site is focused on using the most innovative and energy efficient solutions, ABB’s package also included the installation of a 324 kWh Energy Storage Solution (ESS). The ESS allows ATM to manage their grid consumption. It also allows understanding of the use cases for an ESS, when coupled with charging infrastructure, for simulating potential second-life use case for bus battery packs when they are available in the future.

To complete the installation an ABB EV Site Solution (EVSS) controller was commissioned. It optimizes the ESS recharging process while minimizing energy demand and reduces operating costs by controlling in real time the total peak consumption.

The ABB AbilityTM Connected Services Portfolio of digital solutions, which allows for remote diagnosis and management of the chargers, was also utilized, helping improve and extend its operating life. In addition, ABB supplied its medium-voltage UniSec air insulated switchgear with its innovative AirPlus™ insulation gas inside the apparatus. An alternative to SF6, the world’s most potent greenhouse gas, AirPlus can reduce the global warming impact by almost 100 percent.

Commenting on the project, Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility Division said: “As transit operators face energy challenges for the full electrification of their fleets, they need holistic solutions which can enable new energy management capabilities and potential future second-life use cases for their electric bus battery packs. This is exactly what we were able to supply for sector leaders ATM.”

To reduce the impact of downtime and on-site disruption, the power equipment supplied to ATM by ABB was pre-engineered and pre-assembled by the company for a plug-and-play option which could be quickly and easily connected and commissioned at the depot. And with space at a premium, ABB’s compact solution took up just a single parking space.

Frank Muehlon added: “ABB has provided a complete, end-to-end charging infrastructure solution for ATM which enables Industry 4.0 with full connectivity and cloud computing, as well as creating an impressive blueprint for the future rollout of similar solutions for other transit operators looking to implement more sustainable operations.”

ABB has unrivalled expertise in developing sustainable transport solutions, for private and public transportation, company fleets, commercial and heavy vehicles as well as in the marine segment. ABB entered the e-mobility market back in 2010, and today has sold more than 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across more than 85 markets; over 25,000 DC fast chargers and 5000,000 AC chargers, including those sold through Chargedot.



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