In Turku, the eBussed project has played a crucial role in assisting Turku Urban Traffic (Tukl), the municipality-owned public transport operator, in their efforts to electrify their bus fleet. Currently, out of the 35 buses in their fleet, only 6 are electric. However, Turku Climate Plan aims for Tukl to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, necessitating a shift from diesel buses to more sustainable alternatives. Electrifying the bus fleet is a pivotal step towards reaching this goal.
To support TuKl in their electrification endeavours, Turku University of Applied Sciences (Turku UAS) enlisted the help of eight third-year students as part of an innovation project. These students, specializing in energy and environmental technology, as well as automotive and logistics, addressed TuKl's specific needs in the realm of electrification.
The student group collaborated with various bus operators and manufacturers to exchange experiences and gain insights into fleet and depot electrification. As a result, they developed a comprehensive plan to bolster TuKl's electrification strategy, including a systematic approach to e-bus procurement and depot electrification, as outlined in the action plan created for Turku within the eBussed project.
The final report tackles several pertinent issues related to electrification, encompassing electric bus requirements and needs, considerations for operators, transport providers, and drivers. It also features an overview of different e-bus manufacturers and their services, highlighting the importance of manufacturer support post-procurement. Exceeding number of electric buses also poses challenges to the electricity network that can be solved together with the local energy company Turku Energia.
Depot development is another crucial aspect of the electrification efforts. TuKl's existing depot and its infrastructure requirements were addressed, taking into account the challenges posed by an increased number of electric buses. Collaborative solutions with the local energy company, Turku Energia, were identified to overcome potential electricity network issues.
Looking ahead, Tukl intends to continue the electrification process by procuring 10 new electric buses. The work conducted during the eBussed project has laid a strong foundation for this initiative, and the ongoing collaboration between the company and Turku UAS will extend beyond the scope of the project.