Switzerland-based energy storage company Leclanché and Skoda Electric, a manufacturer of electric drives and traction motors for trolley and electric buses, have signed a Joint Development Agreement and Framework Purchase Contract in which Leclanché will provide Skoda Electric with battery solutions for its electric bus expansion strategy.
The Agreement is worldwide in scope and will operate for an initial term of five years.
Leclanché will provide Skoda Electric with high energy (larger G/ NMC batteries for overnight charging) and ultra-fast power battery solutions (smaller LTO battery packs for more regular charging, such as at bus stations during the day) for its electric buses. Its solutions will be modular, thereby enabling Skoda Electric to build electric buses from 6 meters to 26 meters across all market segments.
The first targeted delivery of the partnership will be the release of a battery system by the end of this year, scalable between 50 – 350kWh and certified for the European market according to ECE-R100.r2.
Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, said: “In 2015, Leclanché unveiled its first all-electric bus in Belgium. Now the European electric bus industry is at a watershed moment as proven battery technology and tighter environmental legislation make electric buses economically competitive with diesel. We are delighted to announce our partnership with Skoda Electric and to take a leading role in the development of Europe’s electric bus market. The industry is set to see considerable growth in the next few years and we look forward to the economic contribution that the agreement with Skoda Electric will make to Leclanché’s transport business.”
Jaromír Šilhánek, CEO for Skoda Electric, said: “Leclanché is unique in that it is fully integrated, has a world-leading heritage in innovation, first class long life-cycle technology across both high energy and ultra-fast charging power batteries, and a production facility in Europe. Leclanché’s solutions and business approach give us ultimate flexibility and scalability, making the company the ideal partner for us to deliver our European electric bus strategy.”
The global electric bus fleet comprised approximately 173,000 vehicles in 2015 of which 170,000 were in China. Europe is the second biggest market for electric buses and by 2016 the continent had over 1,300 vehicles delivered or on order1. The industrial e-transport sector is expected to expand at a Combined Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 37 per cent over the coming years, according to Navigant Research.
Most European metropolitan areas are targeting zero-emission environments, and increasing numbers of transport companies are considering a fully-electric solution for their urban bus networks.
In addition to electric buses, the Joint Development Agreement covers battery systems for a comprehensive range of uses, from passenger vehicles to off-road equipment.