Electric buses can be operated even more cost-effectively and environmentally friendly shows new results by the Public Transport technology company Saga Tenix. Today over 4000 vehicles connect to the companies’ servers every day and using data to drive digital transformation in Public Transport is a major investment for the company.
We work with companies that have big impact on our daily life when it comes to move around in a city. Public Transport are changing to renewable energy and our customers are preparing to pivot from traditional models to powerful, data driven operations, says CEO in Saga Tenix Robert Eriksen Jacobsen.
Success will require them to make data do more and to optimize existing and coming electrical bus operations to fulfill the ambition about a green and carbon-free energy future, Eriksen Jacobsen says.
By extracting the maximum power from each electric bus, the bus companies can make a stronger contribution to green conversion and operate more cost-effectively.
More and more environmentally friendly buses carry passengers around European cities and districts. But even with large electric bus fleets, it is entirely possible to optimize operations.
Saga Tenix has carried out analyzes in a collaborative project with NORCE, a leading Norwegian research institute. Saga Tenix which, among other things, delivers the IT solutions to KEOLIS ‘electric bus fleet in Bergen, a major investment in a Nordic context.
The results point to several possibilities – and that there is a clear untapped potential for the bus companies:
– We can help strengthen both operational reliabilities, planning and the use of resources for the bus companies. We can do this by including parameters such as temperature and driving, topography and passenger numbers, into models that calculate power consumption, says NORCE researcher Bjørnar Jensen.
“In addition, advanced data analysis can identify further points for improvement, such as preheating buses, and battery monitoring that can give a signal when charging is interrupted,” he adds.
This affects power consumption.
The results so far show that both the outdoor temperature, the temperature inside the bus at start-up – as well as the altitude profile on the route – can significantly affect power consumption.
– At an outdoor temperature of around 18 degrees, for example, an electric bus can run 50 percent longer than at 0 degrees, Jensen says.
Using a heater in the bus can result in up to 50 percent extra consumption to heat a cold bus. Preheating can provide better range and better utilization of resources, the results show.
Saga Tenix and NORCE has carried out analyzes based on 30,000 bus departures on a route between Grorud in Oslo and Nesåsen in Lørenskog, operated by Norgesbuss, over a period of one year and two months.
– Based on the results, it is possible to predict variations in electricity consumption, and how the bus companies can streamline operations, so that they do not run with more buses than they need. In addition, it is possible to reduce the risk of unwanted incidents on the routes, such as by ensuring that there is enough power on the battery for the entire driving time, Jensen points out.
From machine learning model to product.
The bus’s over- and under-consumption of electricity also has a clear connection with the height profile along the route. Saga Tenix and NORCE can model and use this information to calculate expected consumption on a route with a given topography and more parameters if needed:
– This makes it possible to optimize the grid, by estimating expected consumption on different routes and combinations of routes, Jensen adds.
– Tenix Predict is a machine learning model product that bus operators can use to operate electric buses in a more effective and secure way. Data from buses and additional components has played an increasing part the last years, but with operations of electric buses, data is essential, says Eriksen Jacobsen.
In addition to the operations Tenix Predict will also contribute to design the routes or the entire route network, he continues.
Saga Tenix and NORCE collaborates with on research and development of how the operation of electric buses can be optimized and made even more environmentally friendly.
– «We at Saga Tenix always have a strong focus on research, especially data and informatics. New research-based knowledge will always be important to us, and the collaboration with NORCE contributes to us achieving our goals. We are dedicated to delivering solutions of the highest possible quality to the public transport sector, which not only benefits our customers, but which will also help to promote the use of electric buses “, says CEO Robert Eriksen Jacobsen
For more information:
Robert E. Jacobsen, CTO, (+47) 936 98 118
About Saga Tenix:
We are a technology company that have developed our own software solutions and delivers several solutions and products that collects and analyzes data in public transport and make it
valuable for our customers and end users. Today over 4000 vehicles report to our servers every day.
Bjørnar Jensen, PhD / Forsker III, (+47) 56107802
NORCE is a new and forward-looking research institute, with expertise in a wide range of fields and strong communities of knowledge. We deliver research and innovation in energy, health care, climate, the environment, society and technology. Our solutions address key challenges for society and contribute to value creation on the local, national and global levels.