Home » A smarter approach to transit electrification
In response to mounting concerns about climate change, many municipalities are working to increase the use of public transit while reducing carbon emissions. For many transit authorities, the way forward is creating a smarter fleet electrification strategy that incorporates more electric vehicles in their fleets, while keeping costs low. Although urban operators have the most to gain from electrification, expectations are high and fleet operators are facing pressure from several economic, environmental, and political factors. There has been a global movement towards the use of cleaner energy sources, and transportation is one of the major targets for upgrade. As cities across the world continue to increase in both population and density, public transportation plays a critical role in creating liveable cities by reducing the total number of vehicles operating in urban centers. An effective transit system also has the potential to drastically reduce carbon emissions, resulting in improved urban air quality, and sustaining a healthy environment for generations to come. With proper planning, bus electrification can result in more efficient and less costly operation of transit fleets; however, the road to electrification is paved with many hurdles.
There are a wide variety of factors that impact operational decisions, and all are necessary for transit operators to consider when moving forward with a new type of transit system. For example, transit operators need to know the uptime for an electric bus in comparison to a diesel-powered bus to plan schedules, and streamline operations. Weather is a major challenge, and many worry about how battery operated buses will fare in extreme weather, both in summer and winter months. Electric buses are required to maintain a charge, while causing minimal disruptions to service. Battery-powered buses have a more limited range than their diesel counterparts and the effects of changes in terrain within a transit area also need to be taken into consideration.
The July issue features a deep dive into the Xpeng P7 EV, sensors for SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous driving standards, what’s needed to build consumer confidence in autonomous vehicle technology, and how Smart Cities can prepare for fully autonomous vehicles.