More electrification! First directions from the ELIPTIC transferability study

Within the ELIPTIC Evaluation activities, special emphasis is placed on the development of the so-called Transferability Exercise, i.e. a study to assess whether the lessons learnt from the ELIPTIC Use Cases, once demonstrations completed, are theoretically transferable elsewhere, in Europe. A specific questionnaire was thus prepared and submitted to a number of stakeholders, some of them already involved in the ELIPTIC activities (namely the ELIPTIC User Forum members). Respondents have to provide their expertise on the ELIPTIC technological concepts, stating first their general attitude towards the Electric Technology for transit, then assessing pros and cons associated to the selected technological concepts according to a 1-5 scale, and eventually rate how much they are likely to theoretically transfer that given technological concept according to prospective results, each represented by a Key Performance Indicator. Such indicators and pros and cons of the previous section are divided into six evaluation categories: operations, economy, energy, environment, people and technology.

A pilot session involved respondents across the world from different fields of expertise (public transport operators, passengers, academicians, transport planners, etc.) who were asked to simulate in their city, in a near horizon, the progressive replacement of conventional buses with hybrid trolleybuses, thus theoretically transferring the lesson learnt in the ELIPTIC cities of Gdynia, Eberswalde and Szeged.

Preliminary results clearly show that key drivers for the introduction of hybrid trolleybuses are virtually all associated to the possibility to improve the local environmental conditions (relying on the possibility to have superior air quality, less noise and emissions, increase the environmentally friendliness of the local public transport system). Key barriers, on the contrary, include a number of very different issues: economic concerns (no national or local funding to start hybrid trolleybuses operations are usually available, which leaves transport companies to rely on their own financing programs and face the problem of the initial high capital costs); technical and environmental hindrances, mostly due to catenaries which limits the acceptance of the hybrid trolleybuses, especially among the citizens and operators (typically, routes poor flexibility, landmarks preservation, difficulties in adapting operations, etc.). It is commonly agreed, however, that hybrid trolleybuses are worth to be transferred even without marked operational performance improvements in light of their high environmental potential. 

The Transferability Exercise is still open (available here) and more results are currently under study.

Thursday, May 10, 2018