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Sustainable urban mobiliTY: ELectric double decker bUS

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Electric bus helps drive towards greener cities

Residents and tourists of some of Europe’s most iconic cities can now enjoy a clean, quiet, and cost-efficient journey aboard the world’s first open-top 100 % electric double decker bus (eDDB).

Transport and Mobility
Climate Change and Environment

The growing number of electric vehicles is making a valuable contribution to improving the air quality of urban areas. This trend is set to continue thanks to the EU-funded STYLUS project, who have developed the world’s first open-top 100 % electric double decker bus (eDDB) and the first eDDB made in Europe. Project partners first drew up a feasibility study and business plan to determine the viability of an electric bus in the DDB market and then conducted a pilot study of the eDDB prototype under operational conditions. “Thanks to this pilot study, we received feedback from the operator regarding the performance of the bus and its batteries following long journeys, and from end users about its comfort while travelling,” says project coordinator Professor Montse Soler. New solutions to design challenges Researchers overcame many obstacles during the eDDBs development. The prototype required a new energy management system for batteries and fresh structural design solutions to lighten the body and chassis structure. This involved determining the correct balance of autonomy, seats and price to transport the greatest number of passengers the longest distance at the lowest possible price and surpass the abilities of current diesel DDBs. Most challenges came from the size and weight of the batteries and the distribution of loads inside the vehicle. Each of the batteries weighed 900 kg and occupied around 1 m3 of space. This posed a significant problem regarding the distribution of the seats and the engine within the interior of the vehicle. “It took a lot of time to optimise the batteries life-time, efficiency, etc and to develop and test several options, including redistributing the location of the batteries, the engine, all cabling, seats, and so on,” explains Prof. Soler. Implementing these advanced new technologies enables the prototype to carry a larger number of passengers and perform better than current eDDBs. According to Prof. Soler: “It reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 60-80 %, energy consumption by 65 % and noise by 90 %, compared to diesel DDBs.” A better economy and cleaner air Developing a cleaner, more efficient and quieter vehicle will allow STYLUS to corner the market in tourist buses, as well as taking a share of the market for urban DDBs used for mass transport. The aim is for a massive deployment of STYLUS eDDBs in Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome, among other major cities. The introduction of eDDBs will not only reduce the EU's dependence on fossil fuels, but also encourage the use of renewable energy and the move to a low carbon economy. Two different end users will directly benefit from the success of STYLUS: public transit agencies and operators from cities or regions around the world as well as private fleet owners comprising private tourist and transport operators. STYLUS will make a significant contribution towards improving the European urban and suburban environment and help reduce health problems caused by air pollution. Prof. Soler observes: “The introduction of a new class of electric vehicles will strengthen the EU economy and the competitiveness of utilities and fleet operators. It will also improve the global competitiveness of manufacturers of electrical systems, batteries, charging stations, and vehicle components.”

Keywords

STYLUS, electric double decker bus (eDDB), batteries, chassis, greenhouse gas emissions

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