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trolley:planung - Leipzig [DE]: Funding Decision Announced

J. Lehmann - 09.12.13

On 15.11.2013 the project partners of the "eBus Scorpio" pilot project received funding totalling around 2.9 million Euros for its innovative project under the Saxony-Bavaria showcase, "ELECTROMOBILITY CONNECTS". In addition to the Leipzig transport department, the project partners include the West Saxon University of Zwickau, Faculty of Automotive Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (IVI). The project name "Scorpio" is an abbreviation of the first letters of the German words meaning "current, power, overhead, recuperation, plug-in, innovation, ecological and sustainable."
The aim of the project is to research and develop ways of recharging electric buses while driving under overhead wiring. Parts of the existing infrastructure, such as tramway sub-stations should be used. As a first step, a battery bus is to be tested under service conditions on route 70., recharging the battery via the overhead line while in operation.
During the theoretical stage of the project, the alignment of route 70 will be modelled and optimised with regard to a long battery life and network-friendly power consumption along the route. For the practical part of the project include the development of a polarity change of current collection in the vehicle, to enable the use of the double overhead for both directions. In addition the re- and de- wiring systems are to be made more practical and more flexible, under the name "dynamic automated Plug-In System" using radar and ultrasonic sensors for locating the overhead line and electromechanical actuators for gentle connection of the current collectors to the overhead line.
During the first years the three project partners will simulate the parameters that need to be taken into account. They will decide whether the pilot operation will be conducted with a renovated existing hybrid bus or whether a new vehicle should be purchased.
Bus route 70 between Thekla and Connewitz Cross has been chosen as a test route. It runs on sections parallel to the tram network and here it can have contact with the overhead network. An extension of route 70 to Markkleeberg instead of tram route 9 is expected.
The City Tunnel, which opened on Sunday, provides a rail route crossing from north to south under the centre of Leipzig linking the Central Station to the previously disused Bayerischer Bahnhof and the Mitteldeutschen S-Bahn network. For the time being route 9 will continue to follow its existing course. The intention is to test the impact of the new S-Bahn network on the use of tram route 9. A conversion of route 9 to bus operation is planned and if the testing of the E-bus is successful, there is an option to retrofit four other hybrid buses or, if necessary, to buy suitable electro-buses.
Translation: Martin Wright
Photo: Since 2011 hybrid buses have been operating on some bus routes in Leipzig. On 27.05.2011 one of the HESS hybrid buses took up service on route 72. Source: Mario Strümpf,

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