January 2, 2020 (11:44)

New technological solutions for the electrification of the public sector and logistics

In 2020, the EU plans to actively work on creating a legislative field for large-scale electrification of transport. To this end, significant research and development (R&D) funding is envisaged. The creation of a comprehensive service for public transport and logistics companies that operate heavy goods vehicles and need special infrastructure is of particular relevance. Considering the need for flexible and efficient charging for electric buses and trucks, Siemens and VDL Bus & Coach have put together the efforts to develop innovative solutions for heavy electric vehicle parks.


In particular, Siemens specialists have installed powerful, latest-generation fast charging stations in conjunction with the power generation systems at the test site of the VDL Pilot Center in Valkensward, the Netherlands. The special switching scheme allows flexible use of charging stations and dynamic change of power output for connected vehicles. Charging stations are powered by MindSphere-based software, the Internet of Things (IoT) operating system from Siemens. VDL will use this technology to perform compatibility tests and functionality when charging large electric vehicles such as buses and trucks.


At the VDL Pilot Center, the combination of smart charging technologies with local power storage systems will be tested in real-world conditions to assess its functionality and reliability. Customers from both companies can visit this Pilot Center to get acquainted with the new technology and undergo training.


It should be noted that the V2G feature implemented in the charging stations allows for bidirectional power transfer. As a result, vehicles can receive electricity from the network and the local storage system and supply electricity to them as well. This feature paves the way for future use of such systems, in particular to cover peaks in electricity demand. Thanks to the V2G, electric vehicles will be able to receive charge control signals and deliver them to the network in the event of a power failure.


Valkensward uses 150 kW fast-charging stations integrated into the system. This allows you to charge three vehicles in parallel up to 150kW each, or one vehicle at a particularly fast capacity up to 450kW using high-power charging (HPC) technology. As Monique Mertins, Head of Charging Infrastructure for eBus and eUtility Vehicles at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, explains, this power output can be flexibly adjusted to optimize the use of charging infrastructure for depots with  different needs. 


The , which is being tested at Valkensward, demonstrates the ability to extend large-scale charging infrastructure widely without significant network load. By combining a local energy storage system with charging stations and software, you can change operating modes to meet current and future needs. This project is one of the mean that opens the way to the increased electrification of the transport sector and a successful energy transition.


In the field of decarbonisation and complex electrification of transport, Navigant Consulting and eIQ Mobility have entered into a strategic alliance to create a new service in North America and Europe connected with creation and maintenance of parks of electric vehicles on a turn-key basis (vehicle-fleet-as-a-service, eFaaS).


Navigant and eIQ Mobility will work with municipalities, commercial and industrial customers to deploy electric fleets quickly and efficiently. The Alliance of Companies is planning to develop and implement integrated “mileage-priced” transportation contracts, which will include electric vehicle parks, charging infrastructure, electricity supply, energy management, maintenance, performance tracking and environmental reporting.


The prospects for this new market are highly valued, with fleet operators alone spending over USD 200 billion annually on operation and maintenance, of which less than 1% is electrified today. According to Navigant, the transition from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles can simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs, therefore electrified transportation is a key component of the decarbonisation of the global transportation sector.


The new alliance combines Navigant’s research and consultancy work in transportation and mobility with eIQ Mobility’s experience in artificial intelligence in logistics and technical and economic planning software that have already been deployed at 13 major U.S. transportation companies, with the analysis of transportation for over 200 million miles having been carried out.



Such integrated services can become a new global market, given that mass production of electric buses, freight vehicles, electrified construction and agricultural machinery is implemented in a number of countries. Electric passenger buses are widespread in many cities around the world, most widely in China. In Shenzhen, China’s most dynamic metropolis, all bus lines completely switched to electric traction in 2018. Further electrification of trucks, construction and agricultural machinery is expected.

The electrification of the transport industry, which begins in many countries around the world, in particular in the EU, brings both challenges and new opportunities for electricity transmission system operators. The electrification of urban transport and logistics companies is of particular importance, which can create an additional customer base for transmission system operators and, at the same time, expand the list of power system balancing service providers.


Images of vdlbuscoach.com, eiqmobility.com.

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