Sustainable public transportation: Pescara to introduce new e-bus system with IMC®500 technology from Kiepe Electric

  • New overhead wire system to link Italian cities of Pescara and Montesilvano on the Adriatic coast with IMC
  • Consortium of Kiepe Electric and Van Hool to supply six zero-emission 18-meter buses with IMC® technology to Pescara public transportation operators TUA.
  • The IMC500 buses will also serve destinations without overhead lines

The new overhead wire system in the Italian city of Pescara will in future charge battery-powered buses equipped with In Motion Charging (IMC®) technology from Kiepe Electric, a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse AG, the global market leader for braking systems and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles. From mid-2022, a consortium of Kiepe Electric and renowned Belgian bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer Van Hool is to supply six zero-emission 18-meter Exqui.City buses with IMC® technology to Pescara public transportation operators TUA.

IMC® technology from Kiepe Electric, like this IMC bus in Rimini, is well established in the Italian local transportation sector. | © PM Rimini

According to Alexander Ketterl, Managing Director of Kiepe Electric, Düsseldorf: “In Pescara’s local transportation system, TUA is taking a pioneering step with the introduction of the new IMC system which is already an established part of the street scene in many Italian cities. Our state-of-the-art IMC500 technology with travel on sections of the route with no overhead lines, will contribute to efficient and eco-friendly local transportation in the delightful coastal region of Pescara.”

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 IMC charging road with all-new and attractive 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. Outside the overhead line infrastructure, 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.

IMC technology from Kiepe Electric is well established in the Italian local transportation sector, as this electrical systems specialist is today the leading supplier of equipment for the country’s popular trolleybuses. While the Pescara project team in Düsseldorf and Italy are preparing the ground, the famous seaside resort of Rimini is currently running acceptance tests for its new IMC buses. The vehicles are destined to serve the new Rapid Coast Transport (Trasporto Rapido Costiero – TRC) express line from Rimini to Riccione. Here too, the focus is on sustainable urban mobility: As in Pescara, the new e-BRT line in Rimini involved construction of the overhead line infrastructure and here too, Exqui.City18 buses were ordered with IMC500 from Kiepe Electric.