To reduce costs and eliminate air pollution, many cities are exploring the benefits of electric buses. Before electrified fleets take the road, however, officials will require a test run. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) used a modeling approach.

Instead of large-scale testing on physical buses, the NRC worked with analytical software company Maplesoft to develop system-level models of bus dynamics.

David Holt, Lead Simulation Technician, NRC of Canada

The models allowed the research council to determine optimal locations for charging stations, calculate energy efficiency, and recommend a range of other community-specific factors.

In a presentation this month titled A Modern Electric Bus Fleet: Improving Public Transit with System-Level Modeling, a Tech Briefs reader had the following question for an NRC member:

“This study is for the particular route considered. Will the modeling be extended to different routes? Will each route have a customized bus with results obtained? Or will there be a mean for all routes considered?”

David Holt, Lead Simulation Technician, National Research Council of Canada: This is one route. We run an individual simulation for each route. Generally, we develop a single bus model. We simulated three buses for each of the six provided routes.

In the future, I think the plan is ultimately to have characterized buses. So, a specific 40-foot electric bus, with a certain battery capacity, from a certain manufacturer. We would characterize that specific bus, and apply it to routes as desired by the operators, or our musings as a research facility.

This response has been edited. To hear the entire Q&A, watch the full presentation: A Modern Electric Bus Fleet: Improving Public Transit with System-Level Modeling.

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