A combination of expert presentations and a test ride left visitors to the event with a
comprehensive impression of Esslingen’s electric buses. These innovative IMC articulated
buses are equipped with lithium titanate (LTO) traction batteries which, with 37 kWh of
usable energy and an output of 240 kW, enable normal operation on sections of the route
with no overhead contact lines. Even in unfavorable conditions, the buses have an operating range of ten kilometers in battery mode. This was one of the main reasons why Esslingen opted for this technology:“On our 113 route the electric hybrid buses cover two-thirds of the distance on battery power.
This enabled us to bring the Berkheim district into our zero-emission mass transit network
with no additional infrastructure costs. Ever since they entered service these vehicles have
been as reliable as diesel-engined buses,” says a delighted Harald Boog, Head of
Operations at SVE. “As the main challenges in IMC buses are not so much mechanical as in
the electrics, electrical system specialist Vossloh Kiepe lead managed the consortium,” he
Visitors showed strong interest in the vehicles’ performance data. The battery trolleybuses
have a top speed of 65 km/h in both operating modes. With their dual axle drive with 160 kW available at each powered axle, the buses offer outstanding performance even on gradients and in difficult weather conditions, and recuperate energy efficiently.
“The key to our success was the development of a new, powerful battery charging concept.
This cleared the way to topping up the battery fast on the short stretches with overhead
lines,” explains Vossloh Kiepe project manager Joachim Berndt. If necessary the buses can
draw on up to 600 kW while hooked up to the overhead lines. “The IMC concept means that
it takes only short sections with overhead lines to reliably eliminate the