King County Metro, which operates a fleet of 1,540 buses in the Seattle region, is conducting a charging infrastructure pilot to test the capabilities of high-power plug-in and overhead chargers from three manufacturers—ABB, Siemens and Heliox.
As part of the project, the agency implemented The Mobility House’s energy management solution ChargePilot, which features load management and smart charging capabilities, and is compatible with all three of the charger brands being tested. The Mobility House says its solution will reduce the total cost of ownership for King County Metro by a cool million dollars.
ChargePilot considers transit routes, operating times, local utility prices and power capacity, and optimizes fleet charging schedules to secure the lowest electricity costs while ensuring the availability of each electric bus. The company estimates that the system will save Metro an average of $9,457 per month in operating expenses.
The new chargers have a combined nameplate capacity of 4.63 MW. After modeling the project goals, the agency chose to install just 2.5 MW of transformer capacity. Thanks to ChargePilot’s local controller, which works to intelligently manage charging load, the facility did not need a utility upgrade, which might have added another million dollars in cost and two years of construction time to the project.
“In collaboration with The Mobility House, we will be able to experiment with and learn from a variety of hardware solutions that we believe will help us achieve our long-term electrification goals,” said Kevin Kibet, the manager of the project for King County Metro.
“We applaud King County Metro for its commitment to bus fleet electrification, and we look forward to supporting them over the long term as they scale up to meet their goals over the next decade,” said The Mobility House’s US Managing Director Gregor Hintler. “Their pilot program is an innovative demonstration of the value of interoperability and smart charging and energy management. This flexible approach can be a model that will further propel the transition to electric buses throughout the US.”
Source: The Mobility House