Efficient charging of electric buses thanks to new comfort functions

July 07, 2020|Munich

Over ten percent of the European bus market is already intelligently controlled by ChargePilot®, the vendor-neutral Charging and Energy Management system from The Mobility House. The system enables bus operators to make annual savings in the six-digit range. In addition to the timetable-based load management system, which is already in use in an international context, three new, unique functions have recently been added to make the charging processes of electric buses even more efficient and convenient for drivers and dispatchers: 

  • Connection of an external depot management system 
  • Automatic preconditioning ("Preconditioning")
  • "AutoCharge"
Electric bus fleet

The functions are integrated in ChargePilot®, which adjusts the charging performance of electric buses according to travel profiles and schedules, thus saving enormous costs. The data relevant for optimum charging of the electric buses – disengagement time, energy requirements and, if necessary, "preconditioning" – can be entered manually in the ChargePilot® web portal or, can now be transferred very conveniently from a third-party system by connecting it, for example to a depot management system. All necessary information is automatically transferred from the existing system to ChargePilot® via an open interface. This results in a significant gain in time and convenience for the operator. 

"Preconditioning" takes into account the desired pre-conditioning of the vehicles so that the electric buses can heat their circulation in winter, cool it in summer, ventilate it once (fan) if desired and always start with an optimally operational battery. To do this, ChargePilot® transmits the data directly to the connected bus via ISO 15118 (Value Added Service according to VDV 261) and starts the preconditioning automatically and in accordance with the desired departure time. This ensures that the vehicle is ready for operation on time, preserves the battery for a longer service life, optimizes the range and increases comfort for driver and passengers. 

"AutoCharge" makes it possible for electric buses to no longer need to be registered via RFID at the charging point. Instead, authentication takes place via the Mac address of the vehicle which needs to be charged. All the driver has to do is connect the bus to the charging cable – ChargePilot® automatically takes care of the rest. This way, every charging process can be evaluated for each bus individually, even afterwards. 

The extensions supplement the familiar functions of ChargePilot®. The Charging and Energy Management system already charges over 200 electric fleets reliably and safely at the lowest costs possible, avoiding unnecessarily high peak loads. For example, at Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv) in Germany for a little over a year now or at the Dutch bus company Connexxion, a subsidiary of Transdev.