Megatrend E-Mobility: How the Transformation Process in Public Transport Succeeds
The transition to emission-free public transport is the explicit goal of many cities and transport companies. But it is anything but easy. This paradigm shift requires transport companies to embark on a comprehensive transformation process, taking into account both complex structures and a multitude of operational and dynamic interactions. But only those companies that develop new expertise and prepare employees for their future roles in a timely manner will be successful.
When transport companies decide to integrate e-buses into their public transport networks, the transition is usually made in small steps. There are many reasons:
- Many manufacturers are not yet able to deliver large orders of e-buses at once.
- The required technical innovations are also still significant, forcing companies to minimise their risks.
- Until the transition has been completed, old and new vehicles will be operated in parallel.
- This in turn means that new and old IT solutions will be operated and integrated in parallel.
This is especially challenging for new dispatching systems. As a complete system, the PSIebus depot and load management system not only harmonises load logistics, dispatch control and vehicle scheduling, but also takes energy supply into account.
Using intelligent algorithms, the system continuously checks which vehicles are best suited to which open routes.
Range Is Paramount
The most important factor is the (remaining) range of a vehicle, or rather, the battery’s charge level. The factors that influence this extend far beyond the distance travelled by a vehicle. As a rule, the battery type determines the overall performance or range of a vehicle. At the same time, performance decreases over time, which the AI algorithms incorporate into its forecasts.
The same applies to temperature sensitivity. The outside temperature and the corresponding demands on the heating and cooling system also influence battery performance, which in turn also depends on the battery type. Ultimately, this means that every vehicle is unique. As a result, the specifics of each individual vehicle are considered when planning charging, dispatching and calculating maximum possible ranges.
New Technology Needs People
Initial practical experience has demonstrated how important it is to integrate employees from the beginning of the project. Because, as in many other industries, people are at the heart of the change management process. With electromobility, requirements are shifting towards electrical engineering and IT, especially in the garages. For example, electrically powered bus data is read and configured exclusively using diagnostic software and mobile PCs. You could say that the computer mouse is replacing the wrench.
The transition’s success stands and falls with the people involved.
Not every employee is ready or able to change roles. The same applies for dispatchers. Even in small fleets of e-buses, paper-based scheduling is no longer possible due to the dynamic, complex interactions. The required calculations and planning are carried out exclusively by software systems. In this integrated system, dispatchers will take on the no less important role of supervisor, intervening only in the event of deviations.
Companies are therefore challenged to motivate their employees early for the operational transition and to prepare them for new tasks in a timely manner, for example through training.
Few companies start out with greenfield development in electromobility. The transition is therefore only possible when accomplished step-by-step. Companies are therefore challenged to integrate new and legacy systems, but above all to introduce employees to new tasks with tact and sensitivity. At the same time, intelligent IT solutions such as the complete system PSIebus are already being used successfully. When operating diesel and electric fleets in parallel, it not only ensures efficient and safe processes, but can also often compensate for a lack of technological maturity.
With PSIebus, emission-free local transport is already a reality.