How Transport for London selected their demonstration site to charge e-buses using underground rail network

Transport for London (TfL) plans on delivering an ELIPTIC demonstration to show the use of the London Underground (LU) electrical distribution network to support the overnight recharging of single deck electric buses.

Bus services in London are managed by TfL but delivered under contract by private companies. The network comprises around 700 bus routes, 79 bus stations, 78 bus depots and ~19500 bus stops served by approximately 8500 vehicles (Fig 1). Most bus garages and stations are privately owned. This coupled to the complex geography of the bus and London Underground network has posed a number of challenges in terms of identifying a suitable demonstration site.

Bus routes in Central London

To simplify the planning and implementation of the demonstration it was decided to only consider garages in TfL ownership, this reduced the 79 potential sites to 8. The second major factor to consider was the cost of laying new cables in a London street. TfL currently estimate this to be around £300/m, due to the complex regulatory framework surrounding road excavations and high chance of encountering undocumented infrastructure in the excavation. Budgetary considerations meant this restricted the demonstration to sites where the bus garage is in very close proximity with a suitable point to connect to the LU power network.

Following checks on the LU electricity network to confirm it can supply adequate power for bus charging the closest TfL owned bus garage to a connection point to LU, Edgware has been selected for the demonstration, this garage also has the advantage that the land between it and the LU substation is entirely within TfL ownership. This will greatly simplify the actual installation of the power connection as all operations will take place on TfL owned property.

For further information and details, please contact Yannick Bousse, yannick.bousse@uitp.org.

Published: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016