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Kiepe Electric and Van Hool supply battery trolleybuses to Pescara

Similar IMC battery trolleybus ExquiCity supplied by Van Holl/Kiepe Electric for Rimini | © PM Rimini

A new trolleybus system is already under construction in the Italian city of Pescara for several years. After various planning and construction delays most of the segregated track for the buses and also larger part of the overhead line is now in place. The route uses its own right-of-way and will link Pescara and Montesilvano on the Adriatic coast. From mid-2022, a consortium of Kiepe Electric (Knorr Bremse group) and Belgian bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer Van Hool is to supply six zero-emission 18-meter Exqui.City buses with In-Motion-Charging (IMC®) technology to Pescara‘s public transportation operators TUA.

The regional transport authority TUA (Trasporto Unico Abruzzese) has commissioned Colas Rail Italia with forming a consortium to realize this local transportation project in Pescara. This involves not only constructing the overhead line infrastructure but also procuring the vehicles and led to an order for six IMC®500 buses being placed with Kiepe Electric and Van Hool, with an option for three more. Kiepe Electric is to supply the entire high-voltage system with traction equipment for the dual-axle drive, static converters, battery chargers and the batteries, and IMC current collectors, complete with diagnostic systems.

The IMC® buses will operate on an all-new infrastructure: The eight-kilometer link between the two coastal cities of Pescara and Montesilvano is designed exclusively for bus traffic and can also be operated as an e-BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) line. As IMC buses recharge their batteries while running on sections with overhead lines, their IMC technology means they can also serve destinations with no overhead lines. Off the overhead wires, the buses operate on battery power, giving them greater flexibility in their choice of route. The plan is to use this flexibility to extend the route as far as the Pescara Court of Justice.

Already 10 years ago, a first vehicle had been supplied to Pesacara, a battery-trolleybus of the innovative PHILEAS model. However, the bus never saw public service and the project was discontinued for several years, before construction work resumed in 2015.

The PHILEAS battery trolleybus never operated in Pescara | © Gunter Mackinger

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