Basel to electrify entire bus operation by 2027

Swiss energy supplier Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB) has awarded a major order to ABB to help enable the transition to sustainable e-bus operations in the city of Basel by 2027.

The contract is part of Basel Public Transport’s (BVB) efforts to convert its entire bus fleet to battery-electric operations. In one of Switzerland’s largest infrastructure projects, BVB is conforming to the legal requirement that all public transport in the canton of Basel-Stadt must run on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2027.

Charging infrastructure

In addition to the procurement of more than 120 e-buses in two stages, an efficient charging infrastructure will also be created. IWB, which is responsible for the power supply, has commissioned ABB as its technology supplier and partner for the project. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

ABB will provide a complete solution for the charging stations and all necessary grid connection hardware, including software for charging infrastructure management and service.

In addition to overnight depot charging – initially in two temporary facilities and later in the Rank depot – fast chargers (“opportunity charging”) with a capacity of 450kW will initially be installed at two terminal stops of the city’s longer bus routes: EuroAirport and Kleinhüningen. This will increase the range of e-buses and will make the entire bus network more flexible.

According to ABB, only four- to six minutes are needed to charge the e-buses at these opportunity charging stations. The high-capacity chargers, which are part of its cross-divisional Ability offering of digital solutions and services, provide web-enabled connectivity. This enables operators to remotely monitor and configure charging points, minimising downtime and optimising efficiency.

“ABB convinced us with its significant expertise and experience. Even for us at IWB as experts in the field of e-mobility, such a major project does not happen every day. We are delighted to be working on this project together with ABB,” said Patrick Wellnitz, senior advisor mobility at IWB.

ABB reports its charging, motion and storage solutions are already playing an “important role” in the transition of public transport to sustainable energy sources in several other Swiss cities, including Zurich, Bern, Biel and Baden.

“We are delighted to be able to support IWB and the city of Basel with our electrification and charging solutions as part of this ambitious project,” added Daniel Müller, head of ABB’s electrification business area in Switzerland.

“We are convinced that it will serve as a role model in the tri-border region of Switzerland-Germany-France and beyond, again demonstrating the opportunities and advantages of clean, quiet and flexible electric mobility.”



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