Renergy consulting ltd organized a study trip to the netherlands and germany to learn about the operation experience of electric public transport solutions and infrastructure.

The team was received by the Eindhoven-based coach & bus company Vdl and was immediately proud of the Citeas SLFA Electric articulated bus at the airport, which also runs on the airport shuttle line.

The company presented the charging stations at one of its sites, which operate in pantograph order here, in both fast (220 kw!) And slow charging modes. The charging order is according to a suitable plan. It turns out Vdl has sold electric buses to 4 cities in the area (Cologne, Venlo, Eindhoven,?) And they use different charging strategies everywhere. The company supplying the filling system (heliox) and Vdl are also involved in the operation everywhere, continuously developing the products according to the customer’s needs. The business development director of heliox said during a visit to their site that they are continuously developing both software and hardware, and are currently testing their own 300kw charger.

During a visit to the Cologne transport company, we were able to get a lot of information about the operation, as Cologne has been testing Vdl electric buses since mid-2015. Currently, one of the downtown lines is already fully covered with electric vehicles, and experience has shown that 50 more buses will be added to the fleet. On the current line, endpoint pantograph fast charging is used, while on-site ccs slow chargers are responsible for balancing the battery cells. We were able to get an insight into the live monitoring system, see the operating statistics, reveal the consumption under different conditions, the consumption of the heating / cooling system, the battery charging strategy and conditions, and many other data that often look staggeringly different in practice than on paper.

It was also interesting that Eindhoven and Cologne have different views on the integration of the transport system into a smart city application, but it was convincing that both start from local conditions and organize according to e.g. also the Open data database.

Sileo buses will arrive in Aachen this year, including BRT double-articulated electric buses. The head of development of the company further presented the redesigned Mercedes Citea electric bus, which was destined for this better fate due to the specific uneconomical nature of the hybrid buses.