A 42-month electric bus demonstration has been launched by a consortium of 40 partners in Europe to demonstrate the viability of electric buses for urban transport.
The Zero Emission Urban Bus System (ZeEUS) project, with a €22.2 million budget, is being supported by the EU under the FP7 funding program. Project coordination is by the Brussels-based urban mobility specialists UITP (International Association of Public Transport/Union Internationale des Transports Publics).
Developing electric vehicles of large capacity and creating adequate charging infrastructure will facilitate the market uptake of electric buses in Europe.
The main goals of the demonstration include extending the fully electric solution to the core part of the urban bus network composed of ≥12 m buses, and evaluating the economic, environmental and societal feasibility of electric urban bus systems.
As part of the project, different innovative technological solutions for electric buses will be demonstrated in eight cities – Barcelona, Bonn, Glasgow, London, Münster, Plzen, Rome, and Stockholm.
ZeEUS analyses will be used to develop guidelines and tools to help stakeholders introduce electrified bus systems in other European cities. Leading manufacturers in bus electrification, including Volvo, Skoda, Irizar, Solaris, and VDL, will participate with plug-in hybrids and fully electric buses and trolleybuses using different charging infrastructure and strategies.
ZeEUS aims to be the main EU activity for monitoring experiences and developments of electric urban bus systems. As the coming years will see many pilots, demonstrations and the purchase of electric vehicles, an observatory will be established to discuss the progress of bus system electrification in Europe and to contribute to electric bus fleet deployment strategies.
Utility participants in the demonstration include Stadtwerke Münster and Vattenfall in Germany, Scottish and Southern Energy in U.K., and Endesa in Spain. Endesa’s participation focuses on the recharging processes and the impact of electric buses on power grids, and as part of the Barcelona demonstration – which will include four buses with rapid charging facilities – the company will design a smart system to manage the charging process.