Skip to main content

Retrofit all-Electric Bus for reduced Operator Operating costs in urban Transport (REBOOT)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - REBOOT (Retrofit all-Electric Bus for reduced Operator Operating costs in urban Transport (REBOOT))

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2017-02-28

Bus operators in urban environments throughout Europe face a dilemma with each bus after around 5 to 7 years of service. Typically, 90% of their fleet is diesel ICs that are highly polluting but relatively low cost to purchase. After 5 years’ service, manufacturer’s warranties end, making cost to operate and maintain the buses high, as a result, bus operators commonly overhaul the buses which includes repowering the bus. Bus Operators also face increasing pressure from governments in Europe to provide cleaner buses, several large cities have full diesel bans coming into force in 2025.

Societal Need: During 2010, Europe had 600,000 early deaths attributed to air pollution , with diesel fumes being a significant contributor to this, see figure 4; as a result, LEZs and ZEZs are becoming more popular throughout Europe to reduce levels of air pollution. During April 2015, the Supreme Court ordered the UK government to meet EU standards on Nitrogen Dioxide levels after missing targets since 2010. The court case brought by Client Earth will ensure the UK Government will take action by the end of 2015 ahead of the previous targeted of 2030.

Announced in March 2015 ahead of this ruling, the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was announced by the Mayor of London to more than half vehicle exhaust pollutants by 2020 . This will require bus operators to replace their operating fleet with new compliant buses and relocate existing vehicles to other towns and cities that do not have emission restrictions. With tighter restriction happening across Europe, LEZ, ZEZ and ULEZ solutions do not solve the wider problem, instead aging high emission bus fleets are often deployed at other location with no nett emission benefit. Most large cities already have legislation in place to ban vehicles entering the city, as enacted earlier this year by the French government banning half the private cars from entering Paris due to pollution levels.

The aim of this project is to develop a reliable, easy to install retrofit all-electric drive and recharge system that will replace diesel drives and provide a payback to bus operators within 3 years (as identified during Phase 1) based on reduced capital and operating costs. The solution will consist of an electric drive system (motor, gearbox and controller), battery and recharger pack. There is currently no commercially available retrofit package for buses. Hence, the project will enable us to enhance the design, identify strategic partners and test the market for our proposed system.
The size of the European market and the current Electric Bus Usage as well as the main policies and operators for ten target cities in Europe and what are the conversion rules in those countries was evaluated.

Two world class cell manufacturers were secured and battery packs designed and built to fit into 2 Donor vehicles (1 single and 1 double decker bus). Both of these models are highly popular through Europe with around 30,000 buses operating in total.

Full installation designs and BOMS were created for Donor vehicles, along with full manufacturing procedures for the components and the installation into the vehicles.

The project was present at several prestigious exhibitions, including the low carbon vehicle show 2016 and the Eurobus expo. The latter showed a dummy drive pack that would be installed into one of the donor vehicles.
The project has so far designed a super high energy dense battery system, suitable for installation into buses. This will enable electric vehicles to run full shifts on service routes without the need for fast charging during the day. So Each bus will only require an overnight charge at the depot. This will have no impact on the ability to carry passengers
The project showing off the drive system technology at LCV 2016
The project Stand at Eurobus Expo 2016