Bus operator rnv achieves cost savings of 33% through intelligent charging

October 28, 2019|Munich

In Heidelberg and Mannheim, Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv) already has its first all-electric city buses in service. ChargePilot®, the charging and energy management system from Munich-based technology company The Mobility House, ensures that the 243-kWh batteries in the new Mercedes‑Benz eCitaros are optimally charged at all times. 

driving electric bus

The electric buses cover more than 200 kilometres on their daily routes. Lines 66 and 67 are fully electric and serve the new Benjamin Franklin Village which is being built in Mannheim with buses every 20 minutes. 

Together with EvoBus and charging station manufacturer Heliox, The Mobility House has adapted the manufacturer-independent ChargePilot® charging and energy management system to rnv's requirements and specifications, such as the electric buses receiving quick top-up charges during breaks in operation throughout the day. Charging is carried out using the CCS standard with an output of up to 150 kW, which is also typical for electric cars. At night, there is enough time to charge the buses with reduced charging power. 

"ChargePilot® has been optimised to ensure that rnv can obtain the energy required for the electric buses at the lowest possible cost and that the vehicles are always ready for use at the start of their shift. The system avoids unnecessarily high peak loads, which would otherwise reach up to 450 kW. With the system, however, the peak load can be reduced to 300 kW without affecting driving operation. The rnv system saves around 14,000 euros a year on three electric buses alone."

Marcus Fendt,

Managing Director, The Mobility House.

ChargePilot® thus guarantees a reliable and cost-effective form of power supply. The charging process can easily be monitored via an internet browser using the system’s monitoring function. Statistical analyses can also be displayed and downloaded online. The system is monitored 24/7 and the staff in Munich are available to provide personal assistance when needed. 

"The charging and energy management system from The Mobility House enables us to easily control the connected load required for our electric buses. This allows us to charge at full capacity during the day, when only one bus is in the depot, and at one-third capacity at night, when all buses are in the depot at the same time. This may all still be manageable with just three vehicles, but as soon as you think about transitioning to a whole fleet, it becomes essential."

Stefan Prüfer,

Head of Product and Service Development at rnv

The bus’s battery and interior can also be preconditioned according to the season via the charging cable. This achieves a significant increase in range and improves passenger comfort on particularly cold or hot days.