This use case focuses on the challenges related to the integration of electric buses into urban bus fleets.


Cities around the BSR are facing both pressure and support to introduce e-buses into their public bus fleets.
Much information is lacking regarding both investments into electric buses (e.g. procurement, technical solutions) and operation (e.g. route planning and efficient operation of the electric buses).

Demonstration Action

  1. The borough of Bergedorf in Hamburg and the VHH, a local transport provider, are currently commissioning new electric buses. They will investigate how temperature and driver performance affect the vehicles. The district will create guidelines for operators to adjust route planning and prepare for adverse conditions. It will also conduct a survey among bus users and collect experiences of people living close to the bus routes regarding their living conditions. Currently there is no such data available.
  2. The City of Tartu plans to pilot a 15-20 seat electric bus (7m length) in Tartu for a minimum of 1 year (all seasons). During this period the following questions will be tackled: What is the optimal size for an electric bus in a given setting? What are benefits/drawbacks of the electric bus? How will the electric bus perform in certain conditions? What are possibilities/barriers for integrating the electric buses into Tartu public transport system on a larger scale? How do passengers evaluate the electric bus?
    The information gathered will be shared and discussed intensively between Tartu, Bergedorf and ZERO. A study visit is planned for interested stakeholders.

Added Value

As cities electrify their bus fleets, problems and questions of operability will continue. This use case can help cities to optimize electric bus deployment and operation of different types, including driver training and optimum conditions for the vehicles in a large city (Hamburg) and technical, environmental and economic feasibility of small electric buses in medium-sized cities in Nordic conditions (Tartu). So far, at least in the Baltic region only larger buses (12m length) have been tested, and only for short time periods (1-2 weeks). Moreover, no larger e-bus fleets are in operation in BSR cities yet.