Clean, efficient and redesigned

Verkehrsbetriebe Luzern receives the first of altogether nine 25 m long, double-articulated electric battery trolleybuses from Hess AG and Vossloh Kiepe
Clean, efficient and redesigned (PresseBox) (Düsseldorf, ) The first electric vehicle was handed over to the Verkehrsbetriebe Luzern (VBL) on June 12, 2014. The buses are part of VBL's so-called RBus system aiming at transporting more passengers more reliably.

The letter "R" stands for "rapid". The journey time from one end of the line to the other end is to be reduced by 10 per cent. This increase in performance is to be achieved partly by way of the innovative double-articulated bus, which comprises several special technical features. The realisation of this vehicle in this form was a novelty to Hess AG and Vossloh Kiepe. Moreover, further bus priority measures have been planned for the road infrastructure.

"It is indeed very interesting to develop a 25 metre long, purely electric vehicle like the new RBus. It was the first time for us. Although we have many years of experience, it was exciting for us to unite the new exterior tram-similar design, the traction batteries, which replace the diesel generator set, the twin-axle drive and the new current collectors in a bus of this length", says Joachim Berndt, project manager of Vossloh Kiepe GmbH.

Already the combination of a 25 m long, double-articulated trolleybus and a lithium ion battery as the auxiliary generator set is something special: the buses combine the capacity of a tramcar with the flexibility of a battery bus. The capacity of the traction batteries of the vehicles was increased to 90 kW, which means that they now have an effective energy content of 27 KWh. In that way the vehicle dynamics is improved considerably during the battery operation. Moreover, the batteries have been conditioned thermally and dimensioned for high and low ambient temperatures.

The traction battery is charged dynamically, i.e. during the passenger operation, by way of the overhead contact line. This so-called "in-motion charging" (IMC) process is automatic so that staff need not get active for the charging.

Additionally, the state-of-the-art vehicle is equipped with a twin-axle drive with two traction motors at the two centre axles, which have a nominal power of 160 kW each. The result is stable riding qualities, both when the vehicle is operated via the overhead contact line and when it is operated via the battery. Hence, the vehicles can also be operated under difficult weather conditions in winter and provide utmost operational safety to the VBL.

The exterior design of the vehicle has been adapted to its modern inner life as the vehicle has been given an ultra-modern design front, which looks more like a tramcar than a bus. Last year this front was realised for the first time within the scope of a joint project of Hess and Vossloh Kiepe in the French Limoges. The futuristic exterior emphasizes the modernity of the vehicles further.

Besides the efficient electrical traction of the vehicles Vossloh Kiepe also has equipped the vehicles with current collectors from its recently developed current collector series, OSA 550. This automatic current collector makes the shift between overhead contact line operation and battery operation very easy.

The advantage: Thanks to its new, optimised design the current collector can now be mounted more to the front on the rear car section, which makes it possible to use longer current collector poles. These poles, which are clearly visible to all road participants due to their orange colour, allow bigger lateral offsets of the vehicles to the overhead contact line. The new big radius of nearly five metres is a completely new development for double-articulated trolleybuses and increases the freedom to choose the lane considerably: more flexible driving is possible.

Kontakt

Kiepe Electric GmbH
Kiepe-Platz 1
D-40599 Düsseldorf
Sandra Heinrich
Vossloh Kiepe GmbH
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