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ABB has its eye on the Saint Michel corridor

ABB has its eye on the Saint Michel corridor

The Swiss giant ABB hopes to put its technology to the test in the boulevard Saint Michel corridor, in Montreal, that the Marois government has chosen to launch its collective transport electrification policy.

This project is of great interest to Greg Scheu, the new regional manager for North America for ABB, “This aligns perfectly with the direction of our Centre for excellence in Montreal” opines the chief executive, who was in Quebec yesterday for the first time since his nomination.

Electric buses equipped with ABB technology are being currently used in Geneva, Switzerland. They are charged by a contact located on the roof of the bus.

“It barely takes minutes and is imperceptible to passengers using this system “explained Mr Scheu on the subject of this technology which is also known as “ flash charging by contact”.

Competing Technologies


Other companies are developing similiar technologies, such as Bombardier Transport with Primove which is being tested in Germany. Primove uses induction, that is a plate imbedded on the ground which permits recharging without contact.

On the other side, Volvo and its subsidiary Nova Bus have concluded an agreement with the Society of Transport of Montreal to test their versions of electric buses that are recharged in a similiar manner at the end of each route.

The technologies are similar says Greg Scheu and adds that his company’s system is of greater security and reliability as a result of not having live-charges on the ground. Contrary to Volvo or Bombardier, ABB is not a manufacturer of trains, metro cars or buses.It is essentially interested in the systems that advance these structures.

According to Greg Scheu, another solution developed by ABB could be tested in Quebec. A system of storage and reutilization of dissipated energy from braking, a technology developed in Montreal by Envitech, a small local company acquired by ABBin 2011.

Quebec has placed 150$ million on the table to electrify the corridor of St Michel which has been designated the first of 4 axes to be reserved and electrified for collective transport. The other axes are Jarry, Beaubien and Sauve-Cote Vertu.