The use of fully electric vehicles in public transport is ultimately just a matter of time. But a number of requirements must be met before electric buses can be smoothly integrated into everyday operations. INIT cites two great advantages, particularly regarding operational information systems: the knowledge gained through the MENDEL research project and a range of products that cover the entire spectrum of operational processes. This gives INIT a holistic perspective on all the aspects involved in putting e-mobility into practice.
INIT helps public transport companies to successfully transition to e-mobility by appropriately adapting operational information systems and a smart charging application. One of the key issues to be addressed is the compilation of blocks and driver shifts. The limited range of electric vehicles, both at present and as anticipated for the next few years, means that nume rous factors must be taken into account. This consequently increases the complexity of the planning process.
Recently at the IT-TRANS, initplan presented a version of MOBILEopti2 that takes the basic requirements of e-mobility into consideration. For example, the operator can set the maximum range of the e-buses when compiling blocks, as well as a minimum charging time in the depot. This information was used to simulate various scenarios (percentage of e-buses among the total fleet and their effect on blocks/driver shifts).
Additional settings specific to the needs of e-mobility are currently being integrated into the optimisation tool. These enhancements include the ability to specify a battery capacity and power required per kilometre and unit of time for a specific bus type. Other factors that influence energy consumption, such as heating, air conditioning, or other power consuming devices, can also be taken into account. MOBILEopti2 simulates the energy consumed based on the battery capacity and is therefore able to predict the battery level remaining at any time during the block.
This data can then be used to decide when a vehicle must return to a charging station. Of course, the route profile, weather conditions, and average vehicle occupancy also have a major influence on the actual energy consumption. These are all possible factors that can later be used to determine the vehicle’s energy consumption on a specific route. Another important factor when compiling blocks is the charging stations – and specifically their output and location. Generally, buses are charged overnight in the depot, but it may also be necessary to place charging stations along the route.
Many other factors will be taken into account in a subsequent development cycle. For example, the aim will then be to optimise the time of charging to avoid expensive electricity costs during peak loads, or to ensure vehicles requiring a top-up charge during the day are only charged with the electricity required for the rest of the block and that the charging infrastructure is used efficiently.
The aim is to enhance and optimise the entire product range for the demands of electromobility and provide public transport companies with the reliable framework they need when planning to roll out e-mobility in their operations. With these services, INIT provides its customers with vital support through one of the most important challenges they will face over the coming years.
- Block and duty planning in one single step
- Calculation of integrated optimisation results
- Possibility of manual editing
- Suitable for urban and regional planning
- Consideration of legal, contractual, organisational factors, and other conditions
- Efficient, economic and socially responsible planning