Panterra moves to standard bus charging with Schunk

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

All Proterra buses use the SAE J1772 CCS (IEC Type 1) standard for plug-in charging, and newer models of Proterra Catalyst vehicles in the US will now be fully compatible with the emerging SAE J3105 standard for overhead charging.

The company is introducing a new suite of high power DC chargers that comply with these standards. The three new Proterra Power Control Systems range from 60kW-500kW and are compatible with J1772 CCS plug-in as well as J3105 inverted and roof-mounted overhead charging systems. The chargers will also use the de facto industry-standard for communication, Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP 1.6). These charging systems are capable of bi-directional, vehicle-to-grid power flow (V2G), enabling the chargers to be smart-grid ready to maximize the energy management capability of an entire bus fleet. 

Proterra’s new charging systems can be used on current fleets and in the future as the power levels scale as infrastructure grows, both in-depot and on-route. The Proterra 60kW Power Control System is ideal for fleets with longer available charge times at the depot. Recharge time is approximately six hours for an E2 Catalyst utilizing a J1772-CCS plug-in connection. Fleets with high uptime requirements will benefit most from the Proterra 125kW Power Control System. Operators can simply plug in the charger to achieve a full charge in under three hours at the depot, with a standard E2 battery configuration.  The 500kW Power Control System works best for fleets with extended operating hours and high mileage requirements, such as 24-hour circulators. This 500kW system delivers fast overhead charging on-route or at the depot, utilizing the J3105 overhead connection standard, and can recharge up to 38 miles in 10 minutes, depending on battery configuration.

New pantograph-style options will join Proterra’s available charging solutions for overhead charging. Proterra is collaborating with Schunk Carbon Technology in Germany, a developer of overhead charging hardware, on the new systems.

Next: Schunk Carbon Technology

“Our technology has long outgrown its infancy and is being deployed globally,” said Dr Jan Gupta, member of the management of the Schunk Group (above) and responsible for the Schunk Carbon Technology division, which has over 300 buses using the technology.  “Electric buses are an important topic for Schunk. The world market is developing very positively; therefore, we are confident and are anticipating positive development for the Wettenberg location, where the production of Smart Charging is located,” he said. 

Shunk supplies the roof charging pantograph for the largest fleet of electric buses in Europe, which operates 43 vehicles in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. “We’ve had strong traction in Europe to date equipping the largest electric bus fleet with our roof charging pantograph technology,” said Robert Averkamp President Schunk Carbon Technology US. 

Proterra and Schunk Carbon Technology will work together to further develop standards-based, lightweight, state-of-the-art, scalable fleet charging infrastructure for on-route or in-depot charging, that can flexibly support dozens to hundreds to thousands of heavy-duty electric vehicles, using the standard overhead pantograph systems from Schunk Carbon Technology.  

“As more fleets embark on 100 percent electrification, we’re committed to providing a seamless transition that leverages open and universal standards and empowers our customers to effectively scale with confidence,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “By using common charging standards for electric buses, the transit industry will avoid vendor lock-in and de-risk infrastructure investments, ultimately accelerating mass adoption of EVs.”


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