Installation of overhead bus chargers at Bedok and Bukit Panjang

Electric public buses are set to debut on Singapore’s roads later in 2020! As part of a trial to access the suitability of environmentally friendly buses in Singapore, the Land Transport Authority has procured 60 battery-electric buses. Among these buses, 20 buses supplied by ST Engineering will be supported by overhead pantograph chargers.

ST Engineering Electric Bus BYD K9 Yutong E12 Yutong E12DD
Quantity 20 20 10 10
Type Single-deck Single-deck Single-deck Double-deck
Charging Mode Overhead Pantograph Plug-in cable Plug-in cable Plug-in cable

In addition, the ST Engineering retrofitted electric bus is also supported by overhead pantograph charging.

Overhead chargers

Two overhead pantograph chargers were each installed at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub and Bedok Integrated Transport Hub, thus making up a total of four chargers. Each 450 kW charger allows electric buses to be quickly recharged in less than ten minutes via an automated rooftop connection.

The overhead chargers are supplied by Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB, based on the opportunity charging (OppCharge) platform. At both bus interchanges, the chargers are installed at a pair of adjacent lots, with a third lot occupied by supporting electrical infrastructure.

On 23 January 2020, the ST Engineering Retrofitted Electric Bus (SG3100M) was spotted carrying out testing works at the Pantograph Charger in Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub.

The charger in detail

Volvo 7900 Electric at a OppCharge charging station in Sweden
Volvo 7900 Electric at an OppCharge charging station in Sweden

OppCharge is an open and competition-neutral interface seeking to accelerate the adoption of electric buses by being compatible with multiple bus manufacturers, hence offering operators choice and flexibility of buses without the need to modify existing charging infrastructure. These overhead pylon chargers with extendable pantographs are usually installed at the end stops of bus routes, allowing buses to quickly receive a full charge in-between trips.

Charging is fully automatic and secured by a two-way WiFi communication sequence. The driver gets a clear indication in order to stop within the specified ± 200 mm from the reference point. The charging sequence is started by activating the parking brake, and the driver can interrupt it at any time.

A similar overhead charger was installed at Cleantech Park in support of the NTU-LTA-Volvo Autonomous Bus Trial. The Volvo 7900 Electric bus participating in the trial is OppCharge-compatible and is recharged with the ABB HVC 300P fast-charge system, which delivers 300 kW DC power.

As part of the Land Transport Master Plan 2040, the Land Transport Authority has also committed to a 100% cleaner energy public bus fleet, comprising alternatives like electric or hybrid buses. This small-scale opportunity charging trial provides a platform for the evaluation of the opportunity charging concept against conventional depot-charged electric buses.

Moving forward, with hybrid and electric vehicles currently on trial and 20 more years to its clean energy target, the LTA will is expected to make a decision regarding its preference for hybrid or electric buses ahead of mass fleet renewals of Euro III and IV buses expected in the coming years.

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6 thoughts on “Installation of overhead bus chargers at Bedok and Bukit Panjang

  • 30 January 2020 at 1:41 PM
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    A24,Why SMRT need bendies when they doesn’t have any feeder Svc @ Yishun?I hope there will be a small ITH @ Canberra Stn.

    Reply
  • 24 January 2020 at 11:02 AM
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    If the overhead pylon chargers with extendable pantographs are not in use, are double decker buses able to fit into the lot and park there?

    Reply
  • 23 January 2020 at 11:09 PM
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    Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub’s total no. of bus parking lots is already inadequate especially during peak hours. Using one whole lot for supporting electrical infrastructure will further exacerbate the problem. I wonder why LTA didn’t think of future expansion when designing and planning the Integrated Transport Hubs.

    Reply
    • 26 January 2020 at 7:16 PM
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      Ya lor, Yishun ITH also have this problem. It’s so bad until they have to make use of the old bus interchange to store excess buses. Last time Yishun can handle a lot more bendies, now only can have 2 bendies, SMRT’s AMDEP bendies can’t even go into Yishun ITH.

      Reply
  • 23 January 2020 at 9:58 PM
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    Dang,They should paste ST or MAN badge at least,Look plain ugly

    Reply

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