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akasol kvb e-bus

Akasol wins ‘major contract’ to supply lithium-ion battery systems for new e-buses

akasol kvb e-bus
Sustainable passenger transportation without environmentally damaging emissions: one of eight battery-powered articulated buses with Akasol battery systems operating as part of Cologne’s public transportation network. (Photo: Koelner Verkehrsbetriebe)

Akasol says it has agreed a deal with “an internationally operating commercial vehicle manufacturer based in northern Europe” for the serial production of lithium-ion battery systems for its entire fleet of e-buses. 

Akasol claims the contract with the original equipment manufacturer is worth “hundreds of millions of euros” and lasts until 2023, and outlines a close, long-term partnership between both companies and involves the supply of up to 4,500 battery systems.

Sven Schulz, CEO of Akasol, says: “Thanks to our technological expertise and nearly 30 years of experience in the field of traction battery systems for the automotive industry, we made an impressive bid and were able to set ourselves apart from the competition.” 

The first serially produced e-buses equipped with Akasol battery systems are due to be released starting in 2018.

The sustainable public city e-buses can be fitted with either hybrid or battery electric drives, and boast a capacity of 150 to 300 kWh.

AKASystem OEM’s modular nature allowed the Darmstadt pioneer in e-mobility battery solutions to provide the required level of energy performance and endurance while complying with specifications.

Schulz says: “Thanks to our innovative and cost-effective fluid cooling system, AKASystem OEM maintains the optimum temperature conditions for operating batteries, making them particularly well-suited to long-term use in public transportation vehicles.”

Akasol says its lithium-ion battery systems have been developed to comply with ISO 26262, and can be fast-charged with up to 500 kW and achieve more than 3,000 full cycles. They also meet Automotive Safety Integrity Level ASIL-C, as well as the Eucar, GB/T, UN 38.3 and EDE R100 safety and performance requirements, claims the company.

Economies of scale 

The new battery storage system presented to the public for the first time at the IAA Commercial Vehicles is easily interchangeable and can be connected in any customer-specific variation, meaning it is completely scalable.

Schulz says: “AKASystem OEM complies with the highest safety standards in the automotive sector. It is maintenance-free and possesses a high degree of technological maturity, making it an optimum basis for reliable and economical operation of hybrid and fully electric drive systems.”

Akasol installs battery modules from major manufacturers in the compact, quick-charging battery solutions, resulting in an economically attractive price-performance ratio. According to Schulz, “this means that Akasol customers benefit thanks to the economies of scale that result from our series production to various OEMs for use in electric buses, trucks, construction vehicles and other commercial vehicles.”

The standard version of the AKASystem OEM has a battery storage capacity of 24.4 kWh at a voltage of 661 V (nominal), and can reach outputs of 150 kW (peak).

Depending on system specifications, any number of the new solution’s battery boxes can, in theory, be connected in parallel or in series, and thus achieve energy quantities and outputs that can meet any given specification profile.

A further benefit, according to the Akasol CEO, is that “the water/glycol cooling system we’ve developed ensures that the battery modules maintain a uniform temperature, allowing even this compact, reduced-volume battery system to achieve impressive output values over a long service life”.

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