UITP Global Public Transport Summit 2019: Interview with Head of Sales Dr. Stefan Bergold

From 9-12 June, Stockholm will host the UITP Global Public Transport Summit, the world’s biggest event dedicated to sustainable mobility.

The event brings together the international public transport community, mobility decision makers and industry suppliers. For the first time, AKASOL will be exhibiting at this exciting fair. We asked Head of Sales Dr. Stefan Bergold why he’s attending and what he’s looking forward to the most.

1. Why are you attending this year’s UITP Global Public Transport Summit?

The summit is the ideal platform to present our current and future battery solutions for the public transport sector. It’s also a great opportunity to meet public transport companies, who rather than vehicle manufacturers are our actual end customers.

2. Which battery systems will AKASOL be showcasing?

We’re exhibiting our full product portfolio of battery systems developed for buses. This includes AKASystem 15 OEM 37 Ah, which is currently in series production for Daimler’s eCitaro and a large Swedish bus manufacturer.

We’ll also be showing AKASystem 15 OEM 50 Ah. The 2nd generation system offers 33% more energy and an increased range up to 250 km when operating under ideal circumstances, all while maintaining the same form factor. It will go into series production for two major bus manufacturers in mid-2020.

We’re excited to showcase our new flagship product, the high-energy battery AKASystem AKM CYC, which allows us to equip fully-electric city buses with battery system capacities of up to 1,000 kWh. This system outperforms solid-state solutions currently available. With a charging capacity of up to 1 C, buses can be fully charged in just an hour, maximizing their uptime. We have customers asking for sample operation in the fourth quarter of this year, with series production planned from 2021.

3. What challenges does the public transport sector place on battery development for commercial vehicles?

Our customers want a range of 350 km or more. They want the vehicles’ uptime to be as high as possible and their vehicles to operate for a long lifespan. The batteries also need to supply additional energy consumers such as heating and air conditioning.
We have worked hard to increase the amount of energy we can provide per pack so that we can achieve the desired range and are proud that the AKASystem AKM CYC more than doubles the amount of energy of our current technology, while fitting in the same space and weighing only a fraction more.

4. How do you meet the strict safety requirements of the public transport sector?

Our battery systems are certified according to automotive standards such as ECE R100 and ECE R10. To achieve these and other certifications, we carry out a range of mechanical, electronic and electrotechnical tests including continuous load tests with so-called "shakers" as well as battery endurance tests in climatic chambers.

On the road, our passive and active thermal management have been tested on long drives during the Scandinavian winter and in the heat of southern Spain’s desert.
All of our battery management systems are powerful, safety-focused and flexible platforms that provide redundant CPU power and are open for future enhancements according to each of our customers’ specifications.

5. Where could we use public transport to be powered by AKASOL’s battery systems?

In Lower Saxony, Germany, you could board Alstom’s Coradia iLint train, the world's first hydrogen powered train. It’s a hybrid solution that we provided the battery for. Daimler’s eCitaro operates in many European cities, including, Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg and Mannheim. It’s also in use in the Scandinavian countryside.

At the moment, you can only find us in North America if you go underground to Canadian mines. But once we start production in the US, you’ll also find our battery systems on the roads of North America. The site selection for our first American plant will be announced soon.

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