Helping Lay the Groundwork for Electric Vehicles

Photo: ABB

For every promise of how electric vehicles will revolutionize transportation, there is a matching practical challenge. If electric vehicles need recharging, how do we make that process fast and convenient? If all our cars will be plugged in, how will today’s gas stations change? How can we remake public transportation to be not just an electric equivalent, but a radical improvement over what came before—the way motorized vehicles surpassed horses and carriages?

ABB studies the practical challenges and creates the solutions that are underpinning the EV transformation, on scales from national to personal. We provide the answers that offer improvements to drivers, passengers, vehicle makers, city managers, utilities, national governments, and the population at large.

Integrating electric vehicles into the transportation system begins with seeing the big picture. ABB is among the very few who have expertise in large-scale power transmission and know how to tie the charging systems into the Industrial Internet of Things. We have created nationwide charger networks in several countries, including Estonia, Denmark and the Netherlands.

At the city-wide level, ABB’s solutions are making a big difference. TOSA is a fully electrified bus system that uses ABB-designed flash-charging technology to boost the battery while the bus is mid-route. At each stop, an arm connects and provides a 15 second charge. More recharges mean smaller batteries, which in turn means more physical capacity for people. Buses no longer need overnight recharging. And most visibly, this can all be done without overhead electrical lines—offering more flexibility to route planners and a better view to city-dwellers.

We also apply our expertise at the individual charger level, developing systems for maintenance and for user functions like payment and subscription. With over 4,000 units, ABB has the world’s largest installed base of EV chargers. We’re helping to ensure that chargers are readily available, easy-to-maintain by providers, and easy-to-use by customers. By linking chargers to the Industrial Internet of Things, ABB helps facilitate web-based payments, software upgrades, remote troubleshooting, and helps contribute to a smarter grid.