Several studies have shown that safe eco-driving has the potential of making public transport safer and more energy efficient. Which is why the ACTUATE Project focuses on training drivers of clean energy public transport vehicles, such as trams and hybrid busses.
The ACTUATE Project had the following objectives:
- To demonstrate the energy saving potential due to capacity building in energy efficient driving of clean vehicles;
- To define minimum criteria and standards for eco-driving and integrate these into basic and continous education at public transport operator organisations as well as into future qualification frameworks for professional drivers;
- To work towards improved driving behaviour and motivation of public transport drivers to drive their clean vehicle in amore eco-friendly way.
ACTUATE used existing networks, as well as networks developed by the project itself, to reach its target groups in order to inform them about the training offered to drivers of clean vehicles for public transport. Then the project focussed on training the drivers that want to participate.
The ACTUATE project ended in January 2015 and the training programmes were tested with more than 1.500 drivers at the public transport operators in Salzburg (Austria, trolleybus), Leipzig (Germany, tram and hybrid bus), Eberswalde (Germany, trolleybus), Parma (Italy, trolleybus) and Brno (Czech Republic, tram and trolleybus). The results of the ACTUATE trainings show that safe eco-driving has the potential to increase the energy-efficiency of bus and tram fleets by 3% to 6% in daily operation.
As previously existing eco-driving initiatives had mainly focused on diesel vehicles,there was a real void to fill by supporting the introduction of safe eco-driving trainings for clean vehicles, i.e. trams, trolleybuses and hybrid buses. In order to unlock this potential, the project put a particular focus on the drivers,as they are the pivotal element for better vehicle handling, safer performance and optimised energy savings. ACTUATE developed numerous sets of training materials, such as concepts, brochures and presentations, in order to implement comprehensive programmes for safe eco-driving. All of the training materials are available free of charge on this project website.