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NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst informs himself about emission-free drives for public transport at Kiepe Electric

This week Hendrik Wüst, the Transport Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, visits companies within the scope of the mobility week to discuss trendsetting concepts that save resources and reduce emissions.

(from left to right) Peter Preuß, Member of the NRW State Parliament, NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst, CEO Dr. Rainer Besold and Project Manager Dr. Marcel Manheller at Kiepe Electric GmbH | ©Thomas Willemsen (LOKOMOTIV FOTOGRAFIE)

Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst: “Mobility and innovative drive systems are important subjects in the coalition agreement. I’ll push both subjects in the coming years. We need novel and powerful technologies to achieve the desired changes on the transport field. Kiepe Electric is a pioneer in the field of environmentally friendly electric mobility.” The Düsseldorf company Kiepe Electric GmbH, which belongs to the Knorr-Bremse group, offers transport operators electrical equipment for tramcars as well as e.g. innovative, field-tested drive system solutions for the electricification of bus fleets in medium-sized and big cities, which can be realised promptly and make electric buses just as reliable as diesel-powered buses.

At present, especially the so-called In Motion Charging (IMC®) technology is demanded. The idea is that the batteries of the electric buses are charged when the buses drive under the overhead contact line, i.e. on the so-called IMC road, so that they can drive up to 25 km in the battery mode in line sections without overhead contact line. The NRW state already supports the development of this technology in its “E-Bus 2020: In Motion Charging” project together with the Dutch province of Gelderland within the scope of the INTERREG cross-border cooperation. Solingen intends to replace 20 diesel-powered buses by IMC battery buses by 2020 so that 66 % of all its buses will be electric buses. Already today Solingen is the trend-setter in Germany as its public transport company already operates 50 trolleybuses, which make up Germany’s biggest fleet of electric buses. Overhead contact lines can also be used as the backbone of a smart grid to distribute direct current in the city, e.g. for the charging of electric cars and bicycles. In this way the IMC infrastructure can be utilised intensively day and night. In cities with metro or tramway networks IMC buses complement the electric mobility networks as they can use their substations. There is great development potential in NRW as twelve (of altogher 68 German) cities have overhead contact lines and substations.


(from left to right) During the plant visit CEO Dr. Rainer Besold (Kiepe Electric GmbH) explained the special features of the powerful electronic components of the IMC trolleybus for Solingen to the NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst and to Peter Preuß, Member of the NRW State Parliament | ©Thomas Willemsen (LOKOMOTIV FOTOGRAFIE)

The corporate headquarters of Knorr-Bremse in Munich is pleased about the exchange of information with the politicians. “We are very happy that Minister Wüst informed himself about the possibilities of alternative drive systems today. In the United States we are already an established provider of emission-free drives for utility vehicles. Right from the beginning our American customers knew that this modern IMC technology was needed to relieve the burden on the environment. German customers are also very interested, but there are still thresholds by the introduction, particularly in cities without overhead contact lines. Here we need political support for clean and reliable public transport”, says Dr. Peter Radina, CEO of Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH. Kiepe Electric has extensive project experience with the introduction of new IMC networks and with the extension of existing trolleybus networks. Today about 600 IMC battery buses with the reliable electrical equipment from Kiepe Electric are operated around the world.

Knorr-Bremse is a leading manufacturer of braking systems and supplier of additional sub-systems for rail and commercial vehicles, with sales totaling approximately EUR 5.5 billion in 2016. Some 25,000 employees develop, manufacture, and service braking, entrance, control, and energy supply systems, HVAC and driver assistance systems, as well as powertrain-related solutions. As a technology leader, through its products the company has been making a decisive contribution to greater safety by road and rail since 1905. Every day, more than one billion people around the world put their trust in systems made by Knorr-Bremse.

Knorr-Bremse subsidiary Kiepe Electric, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, is a globally active supplier of electrical systems to the leading rail vehicle and bus manufacturers. The company offers efficient solutions and ecologically sustainable concepts for low-emission public transportation with eco-friendly electrical equipment for light rail vehicles, metros and regional rail networks, as well as for battery, trolley and In Motion Charging (IMC) buses.

Knorr-Bremse Group
Dr. Detlef Hug
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel. +49 (0)89 3547 1402
E-mail: detlef.hug@knorr-bremse.com
Knorr-Bremse AG
Moosacher Straße 80
D-80809 Munich
Melanie Wiedenhöfer
Tel. +49 (0)211 7497 352
E-mail: melanie.wiedenhoefer@knorr-bremse.com