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Kurt Lötscher, Senior Manager

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Hitachi Energy to deploy the first ultrafast charging e-mobility solution in Italy

Hitachi Press Release.

The recently signed contract is relevant to the ambitious plan proposed by the Genoa City Council to fully electrify its public transport by 20251 and introduce electric buses (e-buses) to reduce private vehicle use and increase travel using public transport2 through an efficient, effective, safe, and reliable mobility system including more than 70 percent reserved and protected lanes along with traffic light preference technology.

The Italian government has allocated the city of Genoa 471 million euros for the renewal of the vehicle fleet, the infrastructure works, and the renewal of sheds equipped for electric recharging to upgrade its transport system to reduce carbon emissions and promote a better quality of life for its citizens. 

The 34 new e-buses that will operate the Val Bisagno line will use two different Hitachi Energy Grid-eMotion charging technologies, striking a balance between battery size and its lifespan, infrastructure requirements, and operational efficiency.  Genoa will be the first city in Italy to have a city line with a flash charging system in place before the end of 2025.

The Grid-eMotion Flash, an ultrafast charging technology, will be capable of recharging the buses in just five minutes at the four terminals containing the two Terminal Feeding Stations (TFS) distributed along the route – all this without impacting the schedule and speed of the public transport. By using a rooftop intelligent pantograph, which autonomously and automatically connects the TFS to the charging equipment and the batteries on the roof, the new buses can maximize the total surface available for passengers. This system ensures a capacity of up to 1,500 passengers per hour, per direction. With no need to lay overhead cables, the flash charge technology will be deployed with the minimum impact and maximum flexibility from the standpoint of the power supply infrastructure.

At the depot, the Grid-eMotion Fleet system will support 34 buses, overnight and during extended parking periods. The buses will be connected at low power using a combined charging system (CCS2) plug to ensure the batteries stay well-conditioned and further increase their lifespan. The system’s compact design will help maximize space in the urban area.

 “We are delighted to collaborate with Colas Rail Italia in providing the city of Genoa with one-of-a-kind and innovative solutions to electrify its buses and modernize public transportation with more efficient and emission-free vehicles,” said Filippo Passante, Grid Integration Operating Unit Manager at Hitachi Energy in Italy. “The electrification of the public transport system can help reduce carbon emissions, traffic, and noise pollution in the metropolitan area, helping create a better quality of life for the people and the community. As the pioneering technology leader, we collaborate with customers and partners to enable a sustainable energy future for today’s generation and those to come.” 

“We chose to propose Hitachi Energy’s flash recharging solution in Genoa because it is the best technology capable of operating the line even in degraded mode, as required by the public transport operator's specifications,” said Giuseppe Ghilardi, CEO at Colas Rail Italia. 

Grid-eMotion solutions are already operating or under development in Australia, Canada, China, India, the Middle East, the United States, and some countries in Europe, like Vasteras in Sweden, and Nantes in France. Several millions of hours of commercial operations have been accumulated with this technology across these various countries, enabling the daily transport of millions of passengers.

Source: Hitachi Press Release

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