15-second flash charging demonstrated using bus

Zurich-based ABB, which develops power and automation solutions, presented an impressive display of flash-charging technology at a conference last week, demonstrating its ability to power an electric bus in 15 seconds.

ABB reported at the 60th congress of the International Association of Public Transport in Geneva that it is working together with the city’s public transport company and other stakeholders on an electric bus system pilot project.

The boost-charging technology will be deployed on a large capacity electric bus with as many as 135 passengers, the company said. The bus will be charged at selected stops in 15-second bursts using a new automatic flash-charging mechanism.

It’s easy to imagine technology like this being paired with self-driving buses in a few years for a completely automated public transport system. That is, if buses aren’t rendered obsolete by cheap self-driving taxis, as some have suggested.

Additionally, flash charging is a technology the robotics industry is keeping a close eye on, as something like it may be required for powering our personal-use home robots when they eventually materialize. And of course electric charging continues to gain ground in the auto industry, with more than triple the number of charging stations available today as in January 2012, according to a new infographic presented by Recargo, PlugShare and PluginCars.com.

For a demonstration of how ABB’s technology works, check out the video below:

[ photo courtesy of ABB ]