The South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency (STRIA) is participating in the Interreg Europe project eBussed. The eBussed project provides technical assistance for the transition from public transport with internal combustion engines to public transport with electric bus fleets. The project covers several areas related to the launch and support of the development of e-bus. eBussed will focus on the exchange of experience between partner regions at different stages of the development of e-bus operations, thus serving regions struggling with this highly technical and fast developing field.
The eBussed project contributes to the specific objective of Interreg Europe 3.1 “Improving low-carbon economic policies” by encouraging regions to develop and implement better policies for the deployment of e-buses. The project will also facilitate the integration of electricity generation based on renewable energy sources and low carbon electrified public transport.
In line with the above project framework, the South Transdanubian Regional Agency aims to promote the development of related national policies.
The activities carried out so far along the objectives of the project and the framework set out have guided the Action Plan’s actions. The related activities were the definition of indicators of readiness for e-bus deployment, the inventory of incentives and barriers, the technological expectations, the primary analysis of regional good practices and the analysis of user attitudes.
At this stage of the Action Plan preparation, we have developed the policy linkages and the good practices identified in the project. On this basis, we have also defined the technical content of the actions.
Background and rationale
The policy basis for the Action Plan has close links to the related policies, including National Electromobility Strategy (Jedlik Ányos Plan 2.0) and National Transport Infrastructure Development Strategy. While the policy impact perspective, Integrated Transport Operational Programme Plus (IKOP Operational Programme Plus) 2021-2027 will be addressed.
The IKOP will be continued in the 2021-2027 programming period with the Integrated Operational Programme for Transport Development Plus (IKOP Plus).
The Operational Programme is linked to the EU’s policy objectives “A greener, low-carbon Europe” (PO2) and to the policy objective “A better connected Europe – mobility and regional ICT interconnectivity” (PO3).
The OP consists of three priority axes, which can be further broken down into specific objectives and areas of intervention.
1.Priority axis: strengthening clean urban-suburban transport
1.1.Measure: Strengthen biodiversity in the urban environment, green infrastructure and reduce pollution.
2.Priority axis: development of TEN-T rail and regional intermodal transport
2.1.Action 3: Developing a resilient, smart, safe and intermodal TEN-T to cope with the impacts of climate change.
3.Priority axis: more sustainable and safer road mobility
3.1.Action: sustainable, climate resilient, smart, safe and intermodal TEN-T
3.2.Action 3: Developing sustainable, climate resilient, smart and intermodal national, regional and local mobility, including improved access to TEN-T and cross-border mobility.
Detail if the actions envisaged
ACTION 1: Reducing the environmental impact of urban and suburban bus transport by preparing for digitalization and testing solutions
Throughout the project we have been able to identify, process and adapt successful collaborations to reduce the environmental impact of urban and suburban bus transport, in particular to share knowledge and improve knowledge between the relevant disciplines. The first of these is the E-bus training for all staff by City Traffic Turku Ltd (Turku, Finland), which provides continuous training in operation, maintenance and management for all operating staff based on a common training theme. The implementation of the action is also supported by the Change Management and Information Strategy for Drivers and Technicians solution, implemented by VHH (Hamburg). The good practice places a strong emphasis on supporting drivers and technicians to become increasingly digitalized and to learn new technologies. . The preparation for the rapidly changing technological environment in Hungary and the training solution (video content) used clearly support the local application of the good practice. The third integrated good practice Optimizing the driving skills of bus drivers (Qdrive monitoring system, Qbuzz, The Netherlands) is an online system that provides bus drivers with processed information on driving data, energy efficiency, helping to optimize driving and traffic management. For the present action, the elements aimed at making transport management more efficient are of relevance.
Content of the action
The aim of the action is to reduce the environmental impact of urban and suburban transport by preparing for digitalization and testing the solutions. To this end, a pilot action area will be defined to examine the adaptability of digital solutions adopted from good practices and to test digital solutions.
Activities carried out under the action:
- Delimitation of the pilot action area;
- An overview of the adaptability of good practices;
- Testing digital solutions – to assure all the components required to deliver the optimal user experience. The testing assess the digital solutions’ vulnerabilities, functionality, usability, performance, etc. across an online test platform. Testing means individual and crowd testing and includes functional testing, accessibility and usability testing, all through thematic online surveys.
In terms of policy impact, the main objective of the action is to increase energy efficiency, maximize occupancy rates and improve passenger satisfaction to help achieve the environmental objectives through the implementation of new projects integrating the digital solutions tested in the action.
ACTION 2: Upscaling the efficiency of electric charging network
There are currently a number of charging solutions available, the most common being conventional charging cables with CCS connectors, current collectors, reverse pantographs, induction charging or in-road charging rails.
Current charging network development trends focus mainly on centralised, on-site charging solutions, which limit the possibilities for transport management.
Three of the related good practices identified in the project will be adapted under this action. The first is the On-Call Service for charging problems in Turku (Turku Energy Ltd. Finland). The central element of the good practice is the operation of an on-call service to deal with charging problems of e-buses. The preconditioning of e-buses, a good practice of others, is a working solution for the Hamburg VHH. Pre-conditioning of e-buses uses mains electricity to heat or cool the interior and the battery pack while still connected to the charging point at the depot. . Finally, the solution of Tribus Innovative Mobility from the Netherlands to optimise the load on the network infrastructure can be transferred to the local development environment.
Content of the action
The aim of the action is to increase the charging efficiency of the fleets used in public transport and those planned to be purchased, thus making public transport more efficient. The action will develop easily adaptable and combinable model solutions for operators planning fleet development.
Activities carried out under the action:
- Setting up an expert group to evaluate e-bus charging solutions (1 expert group with at least 3 industry stakeholders). The expert group will engage in regular dialogue, analyze existing solutions and prepare an assessment.
- Developing model solutions for charging networks in public electric bus transport (summarised in 1 technical study). Based on the evaluation, model solutions will be developed, including an assessment of their feasibility and deployment conditions, in line with the priorities of the IKOP Plus.
- Organising professional, thematic online and in-person events (2 professional events). The aim of the events is to reach as wide a target group as possible, to present, discuss and test the model solutions before their implementation. Testing in this case means collecting and evaluating feedbacks. The planned two face-to-face meetings are a good opportunity to do this. The testing here is based on answering a set of predifined questions and evaluating each factors.
In terms of policy impact, the main objective of the action is to implement more efficient e-bus fleet and transport management projects, thus enabling procurers to develop more appropriate solutions by the implementation of new projects.
The monitoring period of the Action Plan will be from 1st August 2022 (once validated by the Joint Secretariat) to 31st July 2023.
The eBussed project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary within the Interreg Europe Program