Star Charge has signed a contract with VinBus to cooperate in the establishment of the first electric bus service system in Vietnam. According to the agreement, Star Charge will provide advanced smart charging technology for VinBus, who will field the fleet.
Their initial efforts will focus on operating in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Phu Quoc, where VinBus will launch a fleet of 150-200 electric buses. Star Charge will provide charging support, covering everything from “load management, power consumption data analysis via smart grid energy management system combining with Star Charge’s energy storage system to handle peak charging challenges at ease”.
The electric buses planned for use have a battery capacity up to 281 kWh, which can be fully charged after 2 hours to give an operating range of 220-260 km, according to the manufacturer. Not only will the buses benefit from intelligent charging management software from Star Charge, but also boast their own intelligent features, particularly in the safety area, such as sensors to help detect distracted driving, drowsiness, or signs of fatigues. Next to the driver features, there is of course also a host of comfort and safety options for passengers.
VinBus also seems happy with their choice of partner, as their requirements were quite strict: “To fulfil the requirement of our bus, which is capable of travelling 220-260 km, VinBus is looking for a scalable and easy to install charging station. We also want to be ensured the highest levels of safety and reliability, and Star Charge happens to have additional advantages with proven technologies trusted by infrastructure operators around the world,” said Thanh Nguyen, the deputy CEO of VinBus during an interview.
The timing of the move indicates that VinBus, a subsidiary of the VinGroup, is pressing ahead well with their bus electrification plans in Vietnam. Last year, the subsidiary was called into life and made a big announcement to launch electric bus services in March of this year with a fleet of 3,000 electric buses. Whether the buses mentioned above are included in this number, or production was held up is still unclear, however it is not unlikely that the Covid-19 crisis delayed plans a little. The buses themselves are manufactured by VinFast, another subsidiary of the Group.