Experts expect Hamburg’s share of electric cars to rise to 100,000 vehicles by 2030, following initial estimates. Around 1,600 electric buses and the new U5 underground connection are needed to meet around 5 to 10 per cent of annual energy requirements. The “Metastudie Elektromobilität” carried out by the Energy Systems Division of the Helmut Schmidt University on behalf of Hamburger Hochbahn AG, Hamburg Holstein GmbH and Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH examined whether Hamburg’s power grid can cope with such demands.
The capacity of the electric distribution network is crucial for switching bus traffic to electric mobility. Hochbahn’s bus depot under construction in Gleisdreick must be connected to the 110kV extra-high voltage grid. A connection to the 10kV medium-voltage grid is sufficient for the existing bus depots. “Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH and Hochbahn can now lay more concrete plans for connecting the bus depots to the grids,” said Frank Steinhorst, Head of Hochbahn’s Infrastructure Division.
Challenge of electric mobility
The study examined in particular the capacity of electric power substations as the charging infrastructure grows. Only four of 53 electric power substations have to be adjusted to meet the extra demands, the study found. Plans for the next years would have accounted for such an overhaul anyway, according to Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH.
“Switching the entire bus fleet of a city with over a million people to electric mobility poses an enormous challenge. We have taken on this challenge and will master it. Apart from suitable buses, we will also be focusing on the required infrastructure. That includes more garages, trained personnel, an intelligent operations control system, increasing digitalisation and not least smart load management so that this vision can soon become reality in co-operation with Stromnetz Hamburg – for the good of Hamburg, for a clean, emission-free and quiet bus system in the city,” said Toralf Müller, Managing Director of VHH.
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