Hitachi Energy’s Flash Charging Tech Pilot Project with Ashok Leyland and IIT Madras Nears Completion

The groundbreaking pilot project featuring Hitachi Energy’s flash charging technology, developed in collaboration with Ashok Leyland and IIT Madras, is on the verge of completion. The much-anticipated flash-charging system will soon be deployed at IIT Madras, utilizing a bus provided by Ashok Leyland. N Venu, Managing Director and CEO of Hitachi Energy India, made this announcement at the inauguration of Hitachi Energy’s Global Technology and Innovation Centre in Chennai on October 5, 2023.

This innovative flash-charging technology allows for rapid charging during short stops, optimizing operational efficiency and offering substantial cost savings for fleet operators. In just 20 seconds, a bus can be charged while passengers alight and board, making it a seamless and efficient process.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2020, Hitachi Energy India was responsible for providing the flash charging technology, Ashok Leyland supplied the bus, and IIT Madras hosted the necessary infrastructure. Over the past months, the collaborative efforts have focused on refining this pioneering pilot project in the realm of e-mobility.

The flash-charging system, originally introduced in Geneva a decade ago, has been adapted and fine-tuned by Hitachi Energy to cater to high-capacity, high-frequency bus routes. This technology not only accelerates battery charging but also significantly reduces the battery load on the vehicle, ensuring enhanced operational efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

The key features of Hitachi’s flash-charging technology include:

Fully Automated Fast Charging Stations: Certain bus stops are equipped with fully automated fast charging stations where the charging process takes only 20 seconds.

Economical Onboard Batteries: The buses are equipped with economical onboard batteries designed for shorter distances, ensuring seamless operation between charging stations.

Zero Emissions: The flash-charging technology enables mass transit with zero emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment and sustainable transportation solutions.

Operational Efficiency: Every fourth or fifth stop along the route features a flash-charging station, eliminating the need for visible trolley overhead lines and minimizing noise pollution. The system ensures consistent frequency and stop times, even during peak hours, without requiring extra operational hours or additional buses.

Hitachi Energy’s flash charging technology not only advances India’s e-mobility landscape but also paves the way for more efficient and eco-friendly public transportation solutions. As the pilot project nears completion, it represents a significant milestone in the evolution of sustainable urban mobility in the country.

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