A stunning technological invention is likely to change urban mobility in India, as Hitachi Energy India prepares to conduct the first trial of its Grid-eMotion Fleet in the country, A ‘grid-to-plug’ charging system, the flash-charging technology claims to charge electric buses with up to 25 per cent of their battery capacity in only 20 seconds, cutting passenger wait times and improving operating efficiency. The trials for the same will be conducted in conjunction with Ashok Leyland and IIT Madras. While Hitachi Energy will provide the flash charging technology, Ashok Leyland will supply the buses, and IIT Madras will host the necessary infrastructure.
This system’s key characteristic includes an ultra-fast 20-second charge capable of increasing the battery by 25 per cent. It is clear from the objective that the pilot project of the flash-charging technology in India will prove to be a significant milestone in the use of electric buses in the country. The innovative tech will allow for quick charging of the electric buses, right when people board and exit the bus. This shall reduce downtime and make electric buses more viable for public transit.
Long charging durations are one of the key issues in electric public transit in the country. Hitachi’s initiative, in particular, emphasizes the importance of infrastructure, with IIT Madras providing the required support for the operations. The new flash-charging technology also claims to decrease the carbon impact significantly. Hitachi expects the technology to minimize carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tonnes per year on a 6 lakh kilometre bus route. Furthermore, these electric buses are also expected to have 30 per cent cheaper energy expenses than diesel buses, proving to be a significant financial benefit once deployed. The flash-charging technology from Hitachi Energy, thus, complements high-capacity, high-frequency bus routes by efficiently regulating energy use and drastically decreasing vehicle battery load.
The planned flash-charging technology pilot project is in line with India’s rising interest in electric mobility and greener public transit. It also demonstrates a working partnership between academia and the private sector in the country towards green transport. There is no doubt that Hitachi Energy’s new initiative will prove to be a huge technological achievement in the EV space in the time to come. With India at the helm of its use, we can expect the country’s public transport to make full use of battery-powered vehicles soon.