Together with ebusplan, Rupprecht Consult will develop a planning software for public transport operators and companies which will support them in the introduction of electric buses into their fleets. With the help of the planning software, transport operators in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, will be able to plan the conversion to electric buses independently and systematically. The project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund in the context of the lead market competition MobilityLogistics.NRW.
The conversion to electric buses presents transport companies with new challenges. Due to their limited range and the charging time required, electric buses cannot be used as flexibly as conventional diesel vehicles. A cost-efficient and reliable system can only be achieved if the operational planning, the vehicle concept and the infrastructure are coordinated. The combination of operational and technical factors makes the planning process extremely complex. It is therefore difficult to plan the entire system without any suitable technical tools.
In Strategy E, this tool will be developed and tested, thus expanding the competence of the transport companies using it to compare different electric bus concepts with each other in an open-technology way. The operational effects of the different electric bus concepts for the respective transport company will be made transparent and quantified. This presents a suitable solution in order to identify a cost-efficient and reliable overall system which is adapted to the local context conditions.
In the project, existing planning processes of the transport companies will be analysed and integrated. The pilot users Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB), Stadtwerke Oberhausen (STOAG) and WestVerkehr (west) ensure that the application of the software meets the needs of the users. All three transport companies are planning to procure electric buses or are already operating electric buses on regular routes. These bus operators will be supported by the planning consultants ebusplan and Rupprecht Consult as well as the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) of RWTH Aachen University which serves as an "associated partner" of the project consortium.
Further information on the Strategy E project will soon be available at http://strategie-e.de.
Besides the tool development itself, the project will combine the existing competences and procedures in the planning of electric buses with best practice experiences from EU projects and finally share knowledge and experience with transport companies from North Rhine-Westphalia. To this end, Rupprecht Consult will set up a user forum and organise workshops on topics that are relevant to the planning of electric buses.
Rupprecht is leading the work on dissemination and take-up of project results. As part of this work, Rupprecht will set up a user forum for public transport operators in North Rhine-Westphalia in order to validate the electric bus planning tool and share knowledge and experiencess made in the electrification process.