The need for software to properly plan for and schedule EVs is often overlooked. EV planning and scheduling poses complex challenges.
The electrification of public transportation may be slow, but it’s bound to happen. All over the world, cities and governments look to electric vehicles in public transportation to reduce pollution and make cities cleaner. Major capitals are creating ultra low-emission zones or requiring full electrification of public transportation in the future.
Most experts focus on “hardware” choices: the buses, batteries and chargers agencies and operators should purchase. It makes sense to ask those questions: EV deployments are expensive and there is a need to mitigate risks, to not discover that the ranges, charging requirements or vehicle count required for a given service is different than planned. However, modelling this accurately will probably require software.
Indeed, what is often overlooked is the need for software to properly plan for and schedule EVs. Many legacy scheduling platforms do not support EV requirements, yet EV planning and scheduling pose complex challenges. If battery levels, charging speed and capacity as well as trips to charging locations aren’t taken into account, the results will be sub-optimal, increasing the risk of failed EV implementations.
The successful adoption of EVs into public transportation is dependent on our ability to optimize the resources available to us while complying with the new constraints created by charging requirements. Doing this with the help of advanced algorithms can allow us to create public transit that maximizes operational efficiency, while reaping the benefits of carbon independence.
As a result of battery range limitations, EVs need to be recharged throughout the day and, at the very least, planners must form a charging strategy compatible with available infrastructure. This introduces new challenges to the planning and scheduling process. Because suboptimal recharging threatens to increase the number of vehicles required to operate a timetable (and therefore increase operational costs), optimizing charging events is essential to create economically-viable electric transportation solutions.
Deciding when, where, and for how long to recharge electric vehicles is dependent on several variables:
Two important concerns factor here:
Range anxiety is when there are fears that the remaining battery levels are low enough to run out of power in the middle of a trip. This fear can lead to overly cautious scheduling that hedges against this – it isn’t a good practice to follow. The discharge rate for batteries isn’t linear, and often batteries behave differently than appears in OEM specifications. Additionally, ranges are also affected by weather conditions, ridership, road conditions, driving styles and more. However, scheduling can account for this, setting the right thresholds, preferably based on real-life information from the networks, and making sure that these thresholds aren’t exceeded.
Insufficient “electric miles”: in principle, the goal of any EV deployment is to service as many “electric miles” as were previously served with a fossil-fuel based vehicle fleet. When there are too many charging events, or they are inefficient, require excessive deadheads or layovers etc, the fear is that the EV buses will serve less “electric miles”, or require more buses to offer the same “diesel miles”.
The ability to easily express preferences and constraints with regards to electric vehicles, on a simple interface, as well as be informed (through a validation mechanism) to know when batteries are depleted, can help create different scenarios. For instance, a scenario considering different locations for chargers, different routes served by EVs, quick or slow charging etc. You can also check the impact of setting different minimum battery levels and more.
Often, EV adoption begins gradually, when several electric buses are purchased and used within an existing bus network. Since most scheduling systems do not support scheduling electric vehicles alongside ordinary buses, there is a tendency to try to simplify the problem and relegate electric buses to certain routes or only to be used only during peak times and charged during non-peak hours. This approach isn’t recommended, since it does not maximize electric miles, as it usually under-utilizes electric buses and is mostly a result of range anxiety. Under utilization means a high vehicle requirement, with a resulting effiiciency degradation.
We recommend scheduling mixed fleets while taking into account two vehicle “groups”. This creates a solution that considers the different costs associated with different vehicle types and optimizes accordingly. In cases like these one can create hierarchies, preferring one group over the other, taking EV and battery type into account.
What is the preferred option for next-generation transportation planning and scheduling platforms? In the transportation world, cloud needs some explaining.
For transportation operators, winning new business lies at the heart of their strategy. Optibus shares tips and tricks to win more transport business.
Older methods and platforms for planning and scheduling in the world of transport are making way for newer platforms and softwares.
As technology advances, it's time to look at roster optimization, especially as it impacts costs, driver satisfaction and safety.
Advisors from Biobío, Chile paid a visit to Optibus’ headquarters to discuss transportation technology and how it supports their future plans.
Sidra Collins chats with Boris Surets, CISO at Optibus to understand the benefits of using cloud-based servers, as opposed to local servers.
A delegation from Victoria, Australia visited Optibus’ headquarters to discuss technological solutions for improving public transportation.
Grupo GA Brasil has partnered with Optibus to digitally transform its operation serving the states of Minas Gerais and Paraná.
Optibus present 5 key takeaways from the discussions of its first ever Optibus Hub EMEA User Conference at Paddington Station, London.
The MobiBrasil Group is rolling out Optibus’ Planning and Scheduling software across its Recife and São Paulo operations.
The BRT system for the city of Sorocaba is the latest network to implement Optibus’ software platform for planning and scheduling.
Chile's Minister of Transport, Juan Carlos Muñoz Abogabir, recently visited Optibus to discuss the future of public transportation in Chile.
Optibus has been selected to supply the planning and scheduling software for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Rio de Janeiro.
The Optibus Calendar makes it easier for transportation agencies and operators to view and manage all of their service plans in one place.
Optibus has officially opened its new Berlin office space, further driving its expansion into the DACH market.
Única-Fácil has chosen Optibus' planning and scheduling software to digitally transform its public transportation operation.
Optibus is set to debut its latest bundle of features designed to analyse, predict, improve OTP & boost the quality of public transportation.
Optibus opens a new HQ in Rome to aid local public transportation providers in making public transportation the primary mode of mobility.
Optibus is partnering with Ito World, the SaaS solutions provider enabling better data-driven decisions to improve network performance.
The Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency is using Optibus’ Planning, Scheduling, and Rostering products to manage their public transportation operation.
First Bus has teamed up with Optibus to complete the digital transformation of First Bus’ scheduling data, processes, and systems across all UK operations.
Optibus has been declared as one of the winners of the Better e-Bus Challenge 2022, organized by the World Resources Institute India (WRI).
Today, transport operators can have access to all the data required to build data-informed transport networks.
Operators Transbus and Transcal have become the latest Rio Grande do Sul companies to sign up to use Optibus’ software.
Volvo Group Venture Capital has announced a strategic investment in Optibus to advance bus electrification and the digitalisation of public transport.
Ipswich Buses will be one of the first UK operators to debut Optibus’ Operations product, in addition to implementing Optibus’ cloud-native software.
Optibus introduces Operations, the first real-time solution for public transportation depot operations and the newest product in Optibus’ platform.
RedBus Urbano is now using Optibus to modernize its scheduling processes and increase the efficiency of its electric vehicle fleet management.
SALCAI UTINSA S.A. (GLOBAL) has begun to use Optibus’ planning and scheduling modules to optimize its passenger transportation services.
Timetable Optimization from Optibus will minimize costs and peak vehicle requirements while improving timetables and maintaining service quality.
Chartered Speed Limited is onboarding Optibus’ cloud-native electric vehicle management, planning, and scheduling software for their EV fleet in India.
Optibus has been selected by TMC to assist in creating a mass transportation operations solution for the first public bus network in Kampala, Uganda.
Public Transport company TEISA has begun using the Optibus software platform to improve operational agility and efficiency and grow their business.
Optibus, the cloud-native solution for mass transport planning, has opened its first office in Chile, in the capital city of Santiago.
Sogal has chosen Optibus as the technological solution for their transportation planning and scheduling needs.
Auckland Transport is now optimizing their operations and efficiency with Optibus Planning and Scheduling.
Enel X and Optibus have announced their partnership for the creation of an end-to-end solution for electric bus operations.
Driver shortages have been a growing global problem for quite some time: Optibus look at tackling the troubling situation.
Optibus and GreenRoad Technologies will bring historical road safety data into the earliest phases of transportation planning.
Park City, Utah has become the 500th city to boost the performance and efficiency of its public transportation network using Optibus.
Optibus has partnered with Liftango to give public transport agencies and operators an innovative approach to fleet optimisation.
Hitachi Europe and Optibus have partnered to help cities and mass transport providers decarbonise their bus fleets.
Grupo Ruiz is using cloud-native AI platform Optibus, enabling more agile transportation networks that adapt to changing demand.
The Geospatial Suite from Optibus, significantly improves transportation networks and transit equity through the use of data-driven planning.
Stagecoach has announced a major technological partnership with Optibus that will help plan the bus networks of the future.
ioki is partnering with Optibus to accelerate seamless integration of fixed-route and on-demand transportation in Europe.
Use the form opposite to get in touch with Optibus directly to discuss any requirements you might have.