Skip to content

BVG launches pilot project - Electric buses charge independent of the power grid at terminal stops

Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is launching a collaboration with the Brandenburg start-up me energy. The first off-grid fast charging station for electric buses has been operating since August. As part of a pilot project to expand the charging infrastructure for the depot in Lichtenberg, BVG has rented the station. The company plans to install another Rapid Charger at Falkenberg Terminus. The Rapid Chargers generate CO2-neutral charging current from Ethanol. BVG is relying on the mobile solution to supplement existing charging structures and accelerate the expansion of its e-bus fleet by 2030.


E-mobility: Berlin's buses will be electric by 2030

By the end of the year, 15 percent of all buses in Berlin are to be electric, and the entire BVG fleet will convert to electric buses by 2030. The electrification of commercial vehicles focuses on DC and HPC chargers, as they can meet high-power requirements. "Fast charging has a similar power consumption to a 20-story residential building," explains Alexander Sohl, me energy's CEO. Since not every location in Germany can currently meet these challenges, companies that need to charge commercial vehicles are turning to off-grid alternatives to supplement their charging infrastructure. The BVG's pilot project aims to ensure the long-term availability of e-buses through "en-route charging."

The wall box for e-buses

An essential component of electrification is that electric buses recharge at depots and terminal stops. Ideally, the vehicles always charge when they are stationary. Commercial vehicles require 150 kW of electrical power to achieve sufficient range fast enough. "A fast charging station is like a wall box for buses," explains Sohl. These capacities can quickly push the power grid to its limits, and the expansion and approval process is lengthy and expensive. As many terminal stations and bus stops are affected by this problem, the off-grid solution is an advantage for BVG. "A mobile solution that does not require a connection to the power grid is therefore particularly suitable for outdoor areas," BVG spokesman Markus Falkner told Berliner Zeitung in an interview. In addition, route planning should remain flexible. A mobile charging solution can provide freedom in this regard.

Public transport relies on charging-as-a-service

"The Rapid Charger 150 works independently of the power grid, as it generates green electricity from Ethanol at the station on site," says the CEO of me energy. "It can easily be repositioned as required," he adds. This flexibility enables a charging-as-a-service model for charging stations for the first time since these stations are not connected to the power grid nor installed permanently. The Rapid Charger 150 is designed to be easy to set up and can begin operating within a few hours. Additionally, there are no special location requirements.

Do these challenges sound familiar to you?

Contact us and we will discuss the right charging solution for you. Our team of charging infrastructure experts is available to schedule an appointment with you at your earliest convenience.

Would you like to find out more before making a decision? No problem, you can find all the necessary information about the Rapid Charger 150 in our product brochure.