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City-News Archive

Zurich [CH] - Battery retrofit in full swing

J. Lehmann - 02.01.17

The prototype "SwissTrolley plus" was accepted by the Zürich public transport company VBZ at the Hess factory in Bellach on 19 December 2016. 2 days later it arrived in Zürich and was then scheduled to perform initial trial runs on the city network in the new year. For 17 January 2017 a press conference and formal vehicle launch has been announced. You may find out more about this vehicle and the entire battery refit process on the following website. The project is being part-funded by the Swiss government.

Following the battery conversion and interior makeover of the now 10-year old SwissTrolleys 61 and 160 at the Hess works, other refits will take place at the VBZ central workshop in Zürich. So far the local trolleys 144, 145, 146, 147 and 154 have had their old auxiliary diesel motors replaced with battery packs. Additionally, Hess and Vossloh Kiepe have implemented a new software program, to help improve the energy efficiency of the new traction batteries. This will allow them to outperform the 75kW lithium-ion batteries previously fitted on the second series of SwissTrolleys.

Top: A parade of long vehicles on the bridge right next to Zürich main station on 10 December 2016. As of 2019, the especially long trolleybus route 31 will be superseded by the lengthened tram line 2 on its westernmost stretch to the present terminus Schlieren. Instead, the line will be prolonged at its eastern end, running from the existing terminus Hegibachplatz to Klusplatz and from there on to Witikon, thus replacing the shorter and isolated line 34 in the process.
Bottom: In order to pass Albisriederplatz in battery mode, the SwissTrolleys of the series 162-182 are primarily deployed on the busy trunk lines 33 and 72. Photos: J. Lehmann, 10 December 2016

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