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Next stop: ultrafast charging in Barcelona

Barcelona has the first ultra-fast charge point for pantograph electric buses in Spain and one of the first in Europe.

 Electric bus recharging point in Barcelona
Pantograph charging point
Picture of the control panel of the electric battery in the interior of an electric vehicle
Charger and pantograph
Electric bus in Barcelona
Electric bus charging point in Barcelona
The citizens of Barcelona, a city at the cutting edge of sustainable public transport solutions, are witnessing a new milestone in efficiency and electric mobility. The H16 line has the first ultra-fast charging point using a pantograph for electric buses installed in Spain one of the first in Europe.

This initiative, implemented by Endesa working with TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona), is part of the project to promote electric mobility in the city Zero Emission Urban Bus System (ZeEUS), funded by the European Union and involving a total of ten European cities.  

Ultra-fast charging using a pantograph is carried out using two elements: the charger, a pillar approximately five metres high, similar to a lamp post that has been installed at the end of the line to make the most of the stopping time and not interfere with route times; and on the other hand, the pantograph, a type of retractable mechanical arm on the bus roof that folds out and connects to the charger to start charging.

For effective and fast recharging of the electric battery, two key points have been installed in the bus infrastructure: the proximity sensor on the front that warns the system when the vehicle is approaching the charging point; the position sensor, on the back of the bus that prepares the pantograph arm to connect to the pillar hood and start charging.

The ultrafast charger restores up to 80% of the battery in an estimated time of between five and eight minutes. The charge is sufficient for the bus to set off on its route again, since it can normally be driven with the battery between 40% and 80%. This is possible thanks to the 400 kW of power in the charger.

The new charger is connected to our Control Centre where the data is shared with the TMB Control Centre. This data gives us real time information on the state of the vehicle that has connected, plus the work done by the device.

At night, when the bus is parked at the depot, it will fully charge up to 100% in around three or four hours. We have installed two fast charging points for this in this space that restores the buses' charge, making the most of the night-time rate.

The ZeEUS project began in 2013 and it is expected to finish in April 2017. Our work within this programme, as the only electrical company in the consortium, is to fit charging points and run them. Studying these points will help us design the necessary infrastructure to electrify Barcelona's entire fleet of buses. 

Within the ZeEUS project, testing different technology throughout Europe for electric buses or hybrids to be plugged in and different charging solutions will allow us to study the economic, environmental and social advantages of this system and thereby evaluate its feasibility.

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