Ambitious steps are needed to limit global warming and to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The electrification of urban buses is considered an important element in the decarbonization of urban transport. It also helps to reduce local air pollution and increase the quality of life in urban areas. Considering the early experiences already gained worldwide with e-buses, cities can move ahead and switch their transport systems to zero emission bus technology. Internationally, numerous cities like Shenzhen, Kolkata, Berlin and Santiago are investing in low-emission bus technologies, such as battery electric and fuel-cell electric buses.
The introduction of electric buses presents decision-makers and (public) bus operators in cities with a multitude of new challenges. The planning of the bus fleet renewal goes way beyond the traditional procurement of conventional vehicles. In many cases, the electrification of bus fleets will require the introduction of a new ecosystem build around innovative charging solutions as well as different ways of operation and maintenance. With our “How to” checklist TUMI provides a structured list of questions with an aim to help key stakeholders in understanding the step by step e-bus project implementation planning. With our easy-to-use guideline for action we prepare cities in transforming their public transport for the electric future.
Key Steps for the Introduction of E-Buses
Define strategic goals Reduction of pollutants, CO2 reduction, noise reduction, new connection with E-buses etc.?
Analyze own public transport organization Number & structure of transport operators, available transport modes, fleet sizes etc.
Define start date for electrification When do you plan to put the first electric buses into operation?
Set a timetable Until when should the electrification be completed
Select project scale Do you plan a pilot project (for testing) or a full conversion of the bus fleet?
Define number of buses to procure How many electric buses are to be procured in total?
Which vehicle technology is best suited to local conditions?
Define vehicle requirements
Take parameters like route statistics, topography, local climate & spatial conditions, passenger utilisation into account
Select propulsion technology
Are battery/ Hybrid/ fuel cell buses the most promising technology for the local context?
Check alternatives Could trolleybuses or battery buses with fuel cells as range extenders also be an option? Is there a possibility of retrofitting the existing vehicle stock?
Select technology for heating and AC Electric or fossil fuel auxiliary heating? (Influences maximum ranges)
Check technology availability Do OEMs offer their bus models as battery or fuel cell version (solo- and articulated bus)
Define charging strategy Should battery buses be charged overnight at depot or via opportunity charging (on-route)?
Plan e-bus routes according to technological capacities (consider bus range, topography etc.)
Formulate requirements (specification sheet) Define specifications for vehicle procurement like passenger capacity, energy consumption, floor height, vehicle utilisation in single charge, desired breaking & suspension system.
Please take local conditions into account here.
Include charging station in the requirements for the tender.
Start tender of buses Procure buses through international tender to get best value for money
Public transport operators. (If necessary, supported by engineering office/consultant)
Which charging infrastructure or hydrogen filling station is required?
Determine the charging technology Plug-based (at depot) or conductive opportunity charging en-route (at bus stops)?
Define necessary charging speed Define whether the buses should operate with slow charging or fast charging (>50 kW).
Calculate additional space requirements How much additional space is necessary for charging infrastructure at depot (or en-route)?
Examine the implementation of smart charging solutions Examine the implementation of a smart charging and energy management system
Avoid interface risks To what extent can the charging of the bus fleet be controlled intelligently and adapted to the operating procedures? Which providers offer an IT-supported charging management system? Is the planned charging technology interoperable with the new buses? Will it remain so in the future?
Check necessity to build own H2 filling station (if applicable) If hydrogen is used, should it be purchased externally or filled up at the depot?
If en-route charging, define locations of charging stations in the city Take infrastructure measures on the bus routes into account (depending on the chosen charging strategy, see above).
Start tender of charging infrastructure Procure charging infrastructure through international tender to get best value for money (combine with bus tender).
How to prepare all operating staff to work with electric buses?
Define Training/ education needs Training required to ensure safe & economic E-bus operation. Who needs to be trained? (drivers, workshop/service employees etc.)
Organize Trainings/ Workshops Possible Trainings: Safety training for work with high voltage components, efficient driving, e-bus tendering, depot and charging management. Which trainings could be provided by Bus & Charging station manufacturers, service providers, private academies, NGOs, etc.?