ABB promotes energy efficient products and systems

ABB drives energy revolution in road traffic
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Founded in 2014 by the Spanish ex-politician and entrepreneur Alejandro Agag at the suggestion of FIA President Jean Todt, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is now creating international excitement in its fifth season. Driving occurs where electromobility is increasingly at home: in the middle of urban areas. The races held on spectacular street circuits in metropolises such as New York, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong and Mexico City come up with a number of attractive innovations - such as the interactive involvement of spectators - and attract more and more young audiences to the racetracks.

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ABB is heavily involved in the increasingly successful Formula E racing series

ABB has been an integral part of this world's first all-electric racing series as title partner since the beginning of 2018. For the global technology group, the involvement in Formula E - agreed for at least seven years - is the logical addition to the company's role as the driving force behind the rapid global development of electric mobility. With around 10,500 charging stations already delivered in 73 countries, ABB not only has the world's largest installed inventory of fast charging solutions for electric cars, but also offers a wide range of products for electrically powered buses and trucks as well as leading solutions for the electrification of ships, trains and Cable cars. 'We are accompanying this development and driving technical solutions forward because they hold enormous potential for improving our planet,' said ABB's CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, explaining why ABBIts more than 130-year-old success story in the consistent electrification of transport systems is now also being continued in car traffic.

Electric cars in the fast lane

While trains, cable cars, chairlifts and even ships have been on emission-free for a long time Using electricity as a driving force made the energy revolution in road traffic a long time coming. Electrically powered cars are far from being an invention of the 21st century: around 1900, in the early days of automobility, only 22 percent of the cars on the US roads had an internal combustion engine, 40 percent ran on steam, 38 percent on electricity.

Ultimately, however, the combustion engines prevailed because they simply enabled longer driving distances due to the high energy density. The consequences only became apparent several decades later. Today cars, trains, ships and planes are already responsible for a quarter of the world's energy consumption and contribute equally to environmental pollution. Car traffic consumes more energy than all freight transports with trucks, ships and trains put together.

Against this background, politicians, experts and industry representatives have long been discussing not only whether electrically powered mobility will prevail - they are worried join forces to ensure that the conditions for sustainable mobility are created as quickly as possible. In the meantime, several countries, including Great Britain and France, have already announced that new cars with internal combustion engines will no longer be allowed to be sold from 2040. Germany wants to be ready by 2050. Instead of around 200,000 electric vehicles today, up to eight million will be on the German roads in 2030.

The automotive industry has reacted accordingly and is currently investing billions in converting its production facilities. VW plans to manufacture around ten million electric vehicles between 2020 and 2026 - and Volvo has even announced that it will only be rolling off electric or hybrid cars from 2019. GM plans over 20 new electrically powered models by 2023 and plans to double its research capacities over the next few years. Analysts assume that more electric cars will be produced worldwide than gasoline or diesel vehicles as early as 2040.

Consumers are already benefiting from increasing investments in the mass production of electric cars: The latest generation models are theirs fossil-fuel-powered predecessors in terms of performance and comfort and cost - mainly thanks to falling battery prices - hardly more than their conventionally powered predecessors. As early as 2025, the average prices of electric cars should finally be below those for cars with internal combustion engines.

Charging infrastructure as a driver

In addition to the manageable range of electric cars, this also appliedA lack of infrastructure has long been the main obstacle to widespread acceptance of electromobility. In the meantime, however, the associated 'range fear' - not least due to the groundbreaking innovations from ABB - has largely been resolved. In pioneering countries like Denmark, there are already more charging stations than conventional filling stations, and around the globe more than 136,000 charging stations are already keeping electrical traffic running (as of January 2019).

The most powerful of these come from the ABB development laboratories: Of the total of 10,500 ABB charging stations installed, 1,200 are so-called fast chargers that charge the batteries of electric cars with charging capacities of more than 50 kilowatts. The top model Terra HP charges car batteries with up to 350 kilowatts and provides enough energy for a range of 100 kilometers in just four minutes. The best-selling model in Europe and the USA, the Terra DC, also defies temperatures from minus 35 to plus 55 degrees Celsius and thus ensures reliable charging of the batteries in the famous Jaguar “Ice Academy” on the Arctic Circle even under the most extreme conditions.

In order to further expand its leadership role, ABB - like the numerous works teams represented - uses the ABB FIA Formula E championship as a competitive platform for testing support systems and for further developing future charging solutions. For example, ABB's fast charging technology is being used for the first time in motorsport this season in the new Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy - the first all-electric series for series vehicles - which is being used alongside ten of the 13 Formula E races. However, the conventional Terra DC chargers were too large for air transport to the venues. That is why an Indian ABB team has integrated the technical inner workings of the high-performance loader into a mobile container that is only 1.5 meters high, reducing the overall height by a third.

'ABB and Formula E are a perfect match' says Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB. “Both are frontrunners when it comes to the latest electrification and digitization technologies. Together we shape the future of this exciting sport and promote high-performance teams. ABB has everything to move the world of electromobility, to move it forward - without consuming the earth. ”

This is how sustainable electromobility is

The architects of the Paris climate protection agreement have in their specifications stipulated that by 2030 at least 20 percent of all road vehicles worldwide would have to be electric to achieve the climate targets. Skeptics note, however, that even electric cars are not entirely free from environmental pollution. They do not produce any exhaust gases when driving, but the manufacture of batteries requires a lot of energy and othersAssociated environmental pollution. In addition, the operating electricity is in most cases not yet generated in a climate-neutral way.

The question of whether electric cars are actually more environmentally friendly than their fossil-fueled predecessors is currently answered with a cautious ' Yes but ...'. The fact is that electric cars are unrivaled in terms of efficiency: while with combustion engines, not even 50 percent of the energy used is converted into motion, with electric motors it is more than 90 percent. This means that the latter is already significantly more environmentally friendly with the current electricity mix. In 2017, for example, in Germany, generating one kilowatt hour of electricity released 489 grams of CO2. When applied to the consumption of a modern compact electric car, this equates to around 90 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer. A comparable gasoline engine - including the emissions from fuel production and transport - almost doubles the burden.

But that is only the beginning of a development: If electric cars were operated exclusively with electricity from sustainable sources, the CO2 would be reduced - Reduce emissions by more than two thirds over the entire lifecycle.

To make this possible, ABB has been named one of the ten most important companies in 'Change the World' by Fortune magazine in 2018. Ranking list was ranked, not only for the fastest possible expansion of the charging infrastructure, but also for the fact that the electricity made available there comes from hydro, wind or solar power plants as often as possible. The wind turbine generators manufactured by ABB, for example, have become 200 times more powerful over the past 30 years. The Swiss technology leader also provides innovative electrical and control technology for photovoltaic power plants and solar thermal systems. Above all, however, the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission technology developed by ABB ensures that electricity from far-away renewable energy sources can for the first time be transported largely loss-free over many hundreds of kilometers to the urban areas of consumption.

Electromobility also beyond the road

The technology leader, which is active in more than 100 countries, lives up to the company motto 'Let's move the world without consuming the earth' not only in individual electric transport, but also in public transport. Most recently in Bern, for example, the first Swiss bus line was equipped with the OppCharge system developed by ABB and used around the world, whose quick chargers located in terminals or terminus stops ensure that bus batteries can be fully recharged in just four to six minutes.

The technology seems even more futuristic with public buses running between downtown Geneva and theAirport. The ABB TOSA buses charge their batteries at selected stops with a 600 kilowatt surge of electricity. This takes no longer than the 20 seconds in which passengers get on and off, and guarantees up to eight kilometers of electric travel. Thanks to this measure, CO2 emissions in Geneva were reduced by around 1,000 tons a year.

With the same goal, ABB also developed electrical solutions for shipping. With the propellers of the Azipod propulsion system, which can be swiveled through 360 degrees and are mounted under the ship's hull, ships can maneuver effectively in ports or in narrow fjords and with 40 percent less fossil fuel. A high-voltage connection installed in the port of Gothenburg supplies the ships at anchor with electricity from the coast. With this ABB solution, the fuel consumption of a large cruise ship during a ten-hour stay in port will be reduced by up to 20 tons and CO2 emissions by up to 60 tons.

Last but not least, 120 years after one of its Predecessor company realized the first electric standard gauge locomotive in Europe on the 40-kilometer route from Burgdorf to Thun, also still for groundbreaking and environmentally friendly further developments in rail traffic. With the drive packages supplied by ABB, the Swiss Allegra trains, with which the Rhaetian Railway connects Davos, Klosters and other places, are not only particularly powerful but also particularly environmentally friendly: they generate electricity when braking and can feed it back into the network. So much additional energy is gained that one in three trains can manage the ascent without any further environmental impact.

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