Siemens has been awarded a contract by Bernmobil, the Swiss capital’s public transport company, to supply charging infrastructure solutions for the operation of 14 new electric buses.

These are to be deployed on Lines 19 and 21 starting in early 2023.

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The project includes fast charging units at three terminal stations, as well as charging infrastructure for the Eigerplatz bus depot. A cloud-based depot management solution from Siemens will be used as software-as-a-service.

Bernmobil notes it is committed to driving the electrification of public local transport in the Swiss capital.

“Our goal is a completely climate-neutral bus network with 100% electrically powered vehicles by around 2035,” said Bernmobil deputy director and head of technology, Markus Anderegg.

“A reliable and efficient charging infrastructure is an important prerequisite for us to achieve our goal. With Siemens, we have a partner with whom we have had a long and good working relationship in the streetcar sector.”

Three Siemens Sicharge UC 600 fast charging units, including a charging mast with a top-down pantograph, will be installed at the Elfenau, Blinzern (Line 19) and Bremgarten (Line 21) terminal stations. During their scheduled stops, vehicles can be charged with power of up to 450 kilowatts.

Siemens says the connection of the charging unit to the vehicle is fully automatic, so nothing needs to be connected manually. The charging mast has a height of 6.5m and weighs 2.5 tons; with a footprint of 130cm x 33cm it is relatively compact. 

At the Eigerplatz bus depot, Siemens will install seven Sicharge UC 200 fast charging units, each with three dispensers. This means a total of 21 bus parking spaces can be equipped with electric charging infrastructure.

The Siemens charging infrastructure, consisting of Sicharge UC charging centres, dispensers and CCS2 connection cables, will be installed by Siemens in the existing depot during on-going operations. 

To manage the complex system with several Sicharge UC dispensers per charging centre, a digital depot management solution from Siemens will be used in the Eigerplatz bus garage. It is a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.

This means the software will be operated and maintained by Siemens and made available to Bernmobil for use. Among other things, the system monitors all electrical currents, generates reports on charging operations and enables diagnostic and charging management.

“Along with the charging infrastructure, such digital systems are a key element for optimal depot operation. This gives our customers transparency over all charging processes and, as a result, control over their energy demand and costs, for example” added Siemens Smart Infrastructure Global head of Future Grids, Birgit Dargel.

“By offering the software as a SaaS model, Bernmobil can focus fully on the efficient operation of its electrified bus fleet.”