About 75% of the EU population lives in urban areas. The trend towards urban living is continuing and durable, and according to the European Environment Agency, around 80% of Europeans will be living in urban areas by 2020 (EEA Report N°10/2006).
The concentration of people in expanding urban areas has implications for mobility. Urban mobility and transport are vital for cities. It has become clear in recent years that the development of public transport is a key factor for sustainable cities. Urban public transport must meet the challenge of sustainability, by developing reasonably priced service that have a minimised negative impact on the environment. Likely solutions will feature mass transit means (heavy metros) and local systems, with intermediate medium-size capacity transport systems such as Light Rail Transit (tramways or light metros) or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems.
The LIFE BeeBus project will test and demonstrate an innovative green urban transport solution: the eBRT, an electric bus designed for quick recharging during stops at passenger stations.
The use of electric propulsion reduces emissions of many pollutants. In addition, thanks to the full recovery of kinetic energy during braking, the overall system performance is significantly more efficient than diesel buses.
The potential uptake the BeeBus technology is reinforced by its reasonable implementation cost that is substantially lower than a tram line. The total cost of ownership will be reduced by the eBRT’s energy efficiency. Lastly, the batteries are designed to have very long lifetimes thanks to their limited depth of discharge of 7-10 years, twice as long as that of batteries of electric buses that are currently in service.
Specifically, the project a:
- Demonstrate two prototype vehicles (18 metres) with quick-charging interfaces;
- Equip seven bus stations with charging stations (mainly financed by SMTC Grenoble); and
- Establish a complete central management system (energy management, operation supervision).
- CO2 emissions reduced by 192 tonnes in total during the project;
- Energy consumption per passenger: 12-15 watt hours per kilometre;
- Reduction of pollutants by: Nitrogen oxides: 359 kg; Carbon monoxide: 251 kg; Hydrocarbons: 6 kg; Particulate matter: 6.5 kg; and Noise level of only 75 decibels (at 50 km/h) and 70 dB (at stop).