The South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. (DDRIÜ) participated in the interreg interregional learning event organized by the two Dutch partners of the eBussed Interreg Europe project on 16 September 2021. The eBussed project aims at the transition from traditional bus-based public transport to e-bus fleets and the exchange of experiences between partner regions in the different phases of electric bus related developments. The current event focused on the procurement and tendering of electric buses.

The meeting was opened by moderator Marc Maartens, Dutch Mobility Consultant and Jasper Hoogeland, Concern manager of the Mobiliteit province of Utrecht. The Dutch partners introduced the first block of the event with a short video on “Sustainable travel with the electric bus in Utrecht”, which dealt with the topic of public procurement. This was followed by presentations on two topics within the theme.

The first presentation was on the value chains of electric public transport by region. This topic was presented by Marjoke de Boer, Associate Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Next, three European public transport companies presented their experiences with the tender process in their respective regions, the current impact of COVID-19 and the also introduced their plans of the next steps for the extension. The speakers were:

  • Emiliano Cipriani, manager at public transport company CTT Nord in Livorno, Italy,
  • Balázs Kiss, external expert for Paks Transport Ltd., in Paks, Hungary,
  • Quinten Passchier, Market Development Director at Qbuzz in Utrecht, Netherlands.

After the coffee break, the second session of the event started, focusing on financing and costs within the eBussed project. This module was dominated by contributions from speakers from the Utrecht and Amsterdam regions on the business case for e-buses, the total cost of ownership and the financing options for e-bus fleets. Speakers from the two regions were:

  • Pieter Tanja, Management consultant in Sustainable Mobility, Netherlands,
  • Gerard Hellburg, Program Manager Clean & Sustainable by Transport region of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Following the presentations of the first and second sessions, participants had the opportunity to interactively participate in the question and answer session. In addition to the presentations, the audience was also given the opportunity to answer specific questions such as whether there is interest in reusing old batteries in an electrical storage system to stabilise the power supply. Similarly the dilemma whether the buses were purchased with full service from the manufacturer, or the maintenance service was delivered by a separate company was addressed. Reflecting to climate issues, the air conditioning problem inside the e-bus and how was that solved was raised, too.

The eBussed project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary within the Interreg Europe Program.