The three companies, Van Hool, Alstom and Kiepe, are calling their collaboration a “world première” to provide “an innovative mobility solution consisting of 24-metre bi-articulated electric buses powered by fast-charging high-power batteries and recharged by a conductive ground-based static charging system (SRS)”. The consortium closed a framework contract for a minimum of 56 Van Hool Exqui.City's for service on two Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines in the Île-de-France region, including the busiest line in this Paris area.
The offered solution by the Van Hool - Kiepe Electric - Alstom consortium is intended for the T Zen 4 and T Zen 5 high service bus lines in the south of Paris, as well as a third line in option. The 24-metre long, bi-articulated Exqui.City 24 will be able to carry approximately 140 passengers. The vehicles are fully accessible to people with reduced mobility (PRM), thanks to wide sliding doors and low floor. Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool says to be proud of the selection of the Exqui.City by Île-de-France Mobilités for the realization of this unique mobility project in Île-de-France.
Traction batteries, auxiliary power converters and cooling systems, as well as power distribution units (high-voltage distribution) are supplied by Kiepe. Operational reliability is achieved by using a cloud-based data application that measures consumption, routing, and performance parameters and is collected by the Artificial Intelligence-based Smart Fleet Management (SFM) system. Dr. Peter Radina, responsible for Kiepe Electric GmbH in the Knorr-Bremse Group, says: “For Kiepe Electric, this successful bid is a milestone, and heralds our entry into the mass transit market for e-BRT lines.”
Operation is facilitated and optimised by very fast vehicle recharging thanks to Alstom's conductive ground-based static charging system (SRS) interfaced with an on-board energy system from Kiepe Electric which is also supplying the traction system for two driven axles. “Alstom's conductive ground-based static charging system, SRS, will be a world first for bus service and will benefit from the experience of the Nice tramway (France), where SRS was deployed and put into service on 15 km and 34 trams", commented Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom in France.