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Genève [CH] - Innovations at the UITP Conference

J. Lehmann - 27.05.13

The first of the 33 ExquiCity trolleybuses ordered from VanHool with electrical equipment from Vossloh Kiepe was presented at the UITP conference in Geneva from 26 to 29.05.2013. The trolleybus with a fleet number 1601 was between a hybrid double-articulated bus for Barcelona and one for Metz. While the front of the ExquiCity bus for Barcelona is identical to that on the trolleybuses for Geneva, the vehicle for Metz received a special design for its front.

The ExquiCity 1601 will remain in Geneva after the show for some time to receive a preliminary acceptance from the TPG . The vehicle will then return to VanHool in Belgium to be completed there. The delivery of production vehicles is planned for late 2013.

TPG has taken the first electric bus of the TOSA project into operation with the fleet number 1397. It commuted at 20-minute intervals between the fairgrounds and the airport, which is located 600m away. The timetable provides a service in addition to route 5 from 10:00 to 18:00 with a nearly one-hour lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00. Four minutes is allowed for the return trip, while a 5-minute break is scheduled at the airport, during which there is a three to four minutes charge at 200 kW. In front of the Palexpo there is just 15 seconds charging at 400 kW. The current collector has a cubic shape which is raised into an approximately 1 m long rail. This current collector is moveable in both directions, so that the vehicle does not need to be in an exact position. An extension of the operation is planned for the entire route 5, which is just 9 km long. Eleven vehicles are due to run on it. 12 short charging stations and two main charging stations at the terminii should enable a low battery weight, the energy density should be between 25 and 35 kWh, equivalent to those for two electric cars.

The abbreviation TOSA stands for "Trolleybus Optimisation Systeme Alimentation", freely translated as Trolleybus with Optimised Power Supply, but the abbreviation also stands for the initials of the main partners in the project: TPG; OPI as coordinator for industrial projects; SIG (Geneva power plants) for the power supply; and ABB which provided the equipment for the 18.75 m long HESS articulated vehicle.
Due to the lack of overhead wires, the TOSA terminus at Geneva Airport is hard to find. It is located on the eastern side of the access to the railway station. On the southern side there is also route 10, whose departure point is about 300 m to the south on a temporary terminal. Here the double articulated trolleybuses are in use, they have now run about 350,000 kilometers in six years of operation. The double articulated vehicles are now popular as an advertising medium, for example 788 carries advertising for the energy provider SIG, no. 789 for Saudi Airline including flights from Geneva to Dubai. Swisstrolleys 732 and 757 also promote the airline, but in different colours.

Translation: Martin Wright

Above: The first ExquiCity for TPG (Nr.1601) could be viewed in the exhibition hall on the VanHool stand.
Below: TOSA articulated vehicle at the Palexpo shortly before the bus stop where a short battery charge takes place
Photographer : Jürgen Lehmann, 27/05/2013

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