Data helps to make smarter decisions about the buses

The City of Tampere is evaluating the benefits of e-buses by collecting and analysing data from electric buses and hybrid buses. The data enables fact-based decision making when future bus procurement decisions are made.

For now there are four e-buses driving at Tampere. The line these buses drive is quite short and thus suitable for e-buses. In addition two hybrid buses are driving the same line. E-buses were taken into drive in 2017 and hybrid buses in 2012.

E-bus data has been collected already for 6-12 months. The same kind of measuring equipment that collects information for example about the vehicle's energy consumption, charging time, driven kilometres and outdoor temperature has now also been installed to the hybrid bus in order to get valuable reference data.

— There have been different kind of measurement equipments installed in buses already since 2006. Back then data was collected about fuel consumption, tells Equipment Manager Kalle Keinonen from Tampere City Transport.

Measuring the e-buses is a part of the international STARDUST project. The project supports Tampere's goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.

— Increasing e-mobility could be an answer how to decrease carbon emission. Collecting data is important, so that fact-based decisions can be made, comments Project Manager Maarit Vehviläinen.

User experience is also gathered

Tampere City Transport follows drivers' and customers' feedback about the e-buses. The e-buses have managed well in challenging winter conditions, and they have been under repair mainly due crashes. Also charging technology has worked impeccably, although using the charger requires training. Both drivers and customers have given mainly positive feedback.

— Travelling with these more quiet buses is comfortable.  Also driving the e-buses is pleasant, says Keinonen.

Decisions about the buses in summer

Public transport of the City decides what kind of motive power is expected: do the buses drive on fuel, electricity or gas. During the summer the City will align what kind of buses will be invested in and will, for example, more e-buses be procured.

The bus technology is constantly evolving and the City wants to try new solutions in order to develop public transport more user and environmentally friendly. Next summer Tampere City Transport tests for example a new generation energy-efficient hybrid bus. Keinonen believes that expensive e-buses will become more common if the traffic emissions are seen as a part of the total cost of public transport.

In STARDUST project low emission and energy-efficient ICT solutions are developed for example in themes such as e-mobility, smart lighting and buildings. The project is funded by European Union's Horizon 2020 program.