The ElectriCity partnership has been underway in Gothenburg, Sweden since 2013. The 14 partners have summarized their experiences so far in a report.
ElectriCity is about:
A new bus route – route 55 – with electric buses operating in the centre of Gothenburg.
A demo arena for new bus stop solutions, transport management systems, safety concepts and networked technology and systems for energy supplies and storage, for example.
A platform for research into urban planning and building, technological development and behaviour patterns.
A source of inspiration and motivation for future urban development.
The bus route is speckled by innovation and the impact on the attractiveness is evident.
The travelers appreciate the USB connections for charging mobile devices and the seamless* Wifi is rated top features among the travelers.
* Seamless means that the bus stops and the buses are providing one integrated net so that the travelers once logged on the first time will automatically access internet during the full journey from the bus stop to the destination.
Some features are more evident than others. Some are not even meant to be noticed. Nevertheless, my personal favorites:
Safe, silent and emission free zones:
The buses on route 55 are equipped with a zone management system which automatically controls the buses’ operation and speed in different areas. For example, the system ensures that the electric hybrid buses cannot enter the indoor bus stop with their diesel engines running and restricts their speed as they enter and leave.
The zone management system also covers other environments which the buses share with pedestrians and cyclists. In these areas, the buses have to operate at a low speed. For example, the system ensures a high level of road safety in the square between Teknikgatan and Lindholmsallén where there are a lot of pedestrians and cyclists. In the electric hybrid buses, zone management is used to specify the zero-emission areas where the buses have to operate quietly using electricity. In all the buses on route 55, the system is used to limit the buses’ speed in areas where there are large numbers of vulnerable road users.
The zone management system has been developed, implemented and tested on route 55. The drivers feel that the system supports them and helps them to focus on driving, which reduces the risk of stress and accidents.
Indoor Bus stop
The end bus stop on Teknikgatan in Lindholmen is indoors in an annex to an existing building. The annex has a glass facade and a sedum roof. Next door there is a café which helps to create a pleasant environment for passengers waiting for buses. The bus stop also has a USB port for charging mobile phones and there is a collection point for DHL parcels.
The new concept of fast charging has been a breakthrough for electric buses. The automatic fast charging allows buses to top-up the battery at terminal stations. The life time of the battery is prolonged and the amount of battery required for the operation is reduced.
The new principle was developed with Siemens and has now been offered as an open platform to all bus manufacturers and charging system suppliers. The industry has embraced the OppCharge System.