Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ELIPTIC (Electrification of public transport in cities)
Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-05-31
Against this background, ELIPTIC evaluated various approaches and technologies for electrifying public transport and demonstrated that the further take-up of electric vehicles can be done in a cost-efficient way by integrating multi-purpose charging into existing public transport infrastructures. ELIPTIC - Electrification of public transport in cities was a research and innovation Horizon 2020 project and a member of the CIVITAS initiative for clean urban transport running between 2015 and 2018. The consortium consisted of 33 partners from 8 different EU countries representing different sectors such as cities, manufacturers, research institutes, associations and public transport companies. ELIPTIC received funding of 5.9 million € through which it was able to realize 20 different use cases in the form of both practical operation and feasibility studies.
ELIPTIC worked across the three thematic technical pillars to foster the further electrification of urban public transport by optimising the use of existing electric infrastructure:
A) Safe integration of electric buses using existing electric PT infrastructure
B) Innovative energy storage systems to increase operational efficiency
C) Multi –purpose use of electric PT infrastructure
A main achievement of the ELIPTIC project was the, so called, ELIPTIC Factor 100 campaign which was a huge political success. ELIPTIC raised awareness for the promotion of electric public transport with e-buses by developing the Factor 100 Campaign to draw attention on the fact that the electrification of one public transport bus (articulated, 18m) has similar environmental effects as the electrification of 100 cars. The Bremen initiative was successful in that the call for a volume of 50 million € for the starting phase of 2018 and 100 Million € annually for the following years was put into action. With this funding program about 500 e-buses can get into operation per year – being an annual equivalent in terms of impacts to 50,000 e-cars.
The topic of multi-purpose use of infrastructure for the charging of non-rail-bound vehicles was tested and demonstrated for the first time on such a wide scale. Overlapping the public transport network map with the map of on and off-street parking lot locations allows to identify the most economically feasible parking spaces that could be connected to the public transport energy system. It was ELIPTIC’s objective to better understand what the restrictions of connecting both systems and narrowing down the possible locations to the ones that are feasible in terms of connectivity are. There are many places around existing grids with spare capacities that could deliver sufficient power to support significant EV charging infrastructure. However, this is only one part of the story as the viability of the supply is equally dependent on geographic and accessibility factors.
All public transport operators that have been involved in ELIPTIC have ambitious plans to continue on their way towards full electrification of their fleets. In Warsaw there will already be more than 30 electric buses in operation in 2018. In the years 2019-2020 MZA (Warsaw) plans to purchase a further 130 articulated electric buses, thus making it one of the biggest electric bus fleets in Europe.
Results from the ELIPTIC project show that using the public transport grid as a source of electricity to charge other electric vehicles can be the most economic option being often significantly cheaper than using electricity from the public grid. Results also show that the multi-purpose use of public transport infrastructure is technically feasible and was demonstrated successfully in several ELIPTIC cities such as in London, Barcelona and Oberhausen. However, one of the main barriers to implement ELIPTIC’s use cases in Pillar C were unsolved legal issues to use (subsidised) energy from the tram/metro/trolleybus power grids to charge other e-vehicles – in particular private vehicles, but also electric buses.
The automated wiring technology is promising as it will make trolley-battery-hybrid bus systems even more flexible being able to connect to the wires at any spot in the trolleybus network for charge-in-motion concepts. The results within ELIPTIC showed that the current systems are able to wire automatically to the catenary when the bus does not move, however, they are not able to handle the wiring when driving. Thus, first demonstrations were possible but the topic needs further experimenting and testing.