Electric bus motor/inverter breakthrough revealed

ABB’s new product is a first for electric buses

Motor and drive producer, ABB, has announced the launch of a new propulsion package, consisting of AMXE250 motor and HES580 inverter, tailored for electric buses. The new package is designed to work in harmony for a more efficient, reliable and readily available solution.

Described as the first three-level inverter in the market for electric buses, the HES580 is designed for energy efficiency and power output. Compared to conventional two-level inverters, ABB says the HES580 achieves a reduction of up to 75% in motor harmonic losses, which it says significantly minimises heat dissipation and maximises energy conservation.

The key to this improved performance lies in its three-level architecture. Unlike two-level inverters, which switch between two voltage levels (DC+ and DC-), the HES580 introduces a third voltage step – the neutral. This addition effectively halves the voltage step during each switching operation, resulting in reduced current ripple and subsequently lower harmonic losses. As a consequence, the motor should operate with enhanced efficiency.

The three-level inverter also helps mitigate harmonic effects and minimises stress on motor windings, which should help offer sustained performance and longevity of the entire electric drivetrain. This should help extend the lifespan and reliability of the motor.

Additionally, the AMXE250 stands out as a compact, permanent magnet synchronous motor designed for high-efficiency propulsion. The motor also offers high torque density for improved dynamic performance, as well as a quieter operation. The HES580 and AMXE250 have been designed to offer flexibility, allowing them to be placed further away from each other, thus providing operators with the possibility to further optimise space. Designed with an easy parameter setting, commissioning and start-up capabilities, the package is built to be swiftly installed into a vehicle.

Global Head of Mobile e-Power at ABB, Fabiana Cavalcante, said: “Electrifying buses in this way is a key part of bringing sustainable, clean public transport that improves the quality of life. We’re thrilled to provide future-proof solutions that helps the industry to meet their sustainability and performance objectives.”

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