Two years after the project’s kick-off, we now gladly share the interim report on the Electric Mobility Europe (EME) project trolley:2.0, which contributes to the renaissance of trolleybus systems in Europe.
Electric mobility is becoming an increasingly important challenge for public transport operators in cities worldwide. Recently, trolleybus systems using in-motion charging have shown to offer a modern-emission free alternative to diesel buses.
Conventional trolleybus systems have been around for more than 100 years but were widely abandoned in recent decades due to considerable infrastructure investments and maintenance costs for the required overhead lines, switches and crossings. Despite being more environmentally friendly, trolleybuses were replaced by more economically viable diesel buses. However, with rising concerns for urban transport related-emissions, public transport operators need to replace combustion engines, and many have therefore turned back to the charging concept of trolleybuses to electrify bus networks.
The trolley:2.0 project sponsored by Electric Mobility Europe (EME) is therefore investigating battery-electric trolleybuses and how they can open up further advantages through in-motion charging concepts. The potential of this technology includes efficient and reliable operation, as the proven technology of the trolleybus is combined with modern energy storage technology. Owing to the onboard energy storage system, branches, crossings or other sections of track where electrification is costly or undesirable for aesthetic reasons can be designed without a catenary. In-motion charging transforms conventional trolleybuses into battery-electric buses that can fuel up while transporting passengers. With this hybrid concept, the lines between the trolleybuses and e-buses are fading.
In April 2018, implementation of the hybrid trolleybuses began in the four project cities Eberswalde (DE), Szeged (HU), Gdynia (PL) and Arnhem (NL). So far, it has been shown that the expansion with in-motion charging technology pays off, especially in cities with a historic old town centre. In historical areas, the installation of the overhead line system can be omitted. Since the start of the project, there have been various unforeseen challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, but trolley:2.0 is still largely on schedule and will be completed as planned at the end of 2020.
For more details on the innovative solutions related to in-motion charging and the development towards a new generation of trolleybus systems that could help electrify public transport, please find the interim report on trolley:2.0 here.
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