eBRT2030 was launched at the beginning of 2023 with the goal of creating a new generation of electric BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) systems to improve public transport and tackle the issues of climate change and air pollution in urban areas. The project will contribute to the modernisation and greening of the European Union’s transport system by proposing novel and sustainable public transport options, helping reach the net zero emission targets set by the European Commission.
Launched within the framework of the 2Zero Partnership, an association advancing zero-emission mobility in Europe, with ERTICO as an active associate member, eBRT2030 will support the Partnership’s goals through the development of electric BRT systems. The project contributes to the third Pillar of 2Zero, which is focused on developing ‘innovative concepts, solutions and services for zero tailpipe emission mobility of people & goods’ to help achieve carbon-neutral road transport. To reach its objective of reducing emissions and traffic congestion, the eBRT2030 project will propose flexible, economically viable, integrated, and safe solutions, enhanced with automation and connectivity functionalities, paving the way for the applicability and future replication of these systems in various urban environments.
BRT systems consist of buses driving on dedicated lanes, or sometimes mixed with traffic, with predefined stops, often with priority at intersections. They improve the user experience by offering comfortable and efficient transport services with reduced travel and waiting times, and increased reliability and safety. BRTs represent a major milestone in the bus sector, with significant potential to reduce congestion and air pollution in cities. Latin America is at the forefront in this field with many cities having already successfully introduced a BRT system. Around 40 countries worldwide already have operational BRT systems, but only a few of them are electric.
An approach focused on real operations
eBRT2030 will boost the rollout and development of future electric BRTs by demonstrating electric BRTs in Europe and worldwide in real and specific settings. The project will introduce cutting-edge technologies linked to the vehicles, the charging infrastructure, and IoT (Internet of Things). The demonstration sites of the project have been carefully selected for their already existing, planned or under implementation BRT lines, based on the technological development needs of the project and of operators and on the specific requirements of the cities. Six cities in Europe and one in South America have been identified to implement the project’s proposed use cases in urban, sub-urban and inter-urban areas.
In Barcelona, a high-demand bus route will be equipped with IoT sensor technology onboard and at strategic bus stops, as well as with smart charging and management systems to improve the efficiency of the line. The Amsterdam demonstration site will make use of an innovative hybrid charging system and smart control units at the bus depot to increase the grid network capacity of a high-frequency BRT route. In Athens, an express bus line will be modernised with a hybrid and efficient charging system using onboard chargers and pantographs. In-Motion Charging will be demonstrated in a high-demand bus line in Prague, coupled with the possibility of charging at terminals and at the depot. In Rimini, the efficiency and maintenance of the existing eBRT line will be improved through an ITS system and sensor data input. The project innovations in Eindhoven will be implemented in the whole region and will focus on the charging infrastructure and energy management when charging the battery to maximise the battery lifespan. Finally, the demonstration site in Bogota will be used to validate the smart tools and new services developed there, as well as the overall eBRT2030 approach, to foster the development of business models and partnerships with local authorities and operators. Feasibility studies and small-scale demonstrations in Quito, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam will complement the project’s activities outside Europe.
Driving innovation in electric public transport
ERTICO is proud to be part of eBRT2030, leveraging its extensive experience working on related EU-funded projects in the field of electromobility and public transport, such as SOLUTIONSplus, which explores various e-mobility solutions to create a lasting shift to low-carbon mobility like innovative electric bus charging through inverted pantograph technology in its Living Lab in Madrid. ERTICO is also involved in the SHOW project, which is deploying the most holistic connected and automated vehicles demonstration to test their integration into public transport, with most of its 16 pilot sites having their tests either ongoing or already completed. ERTICO will also connect the cities interviewed in the framework of its City Moonshot initiative with the eBRT2030 demonstration cities to promote the implementation of novel e-mobility solutions that respond to their own mobility challenges.
Currently, ERTICO is actively involved in the creation of a data collection protocol describing the procedure for the collection of quantitative and qualitative data in each demonstration site of the project. More specifically, ERTICO will define the requirements for user data collection, including interviews and surveys of drivers and passengers from each demonstration site. By working closely with end users, the project will ensure that its solutions align with their actual needs.