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Eco-drive for electric buses in coach traffic

21 February 2022

We have now released a new Eco-drive module for our FleetControl product. From now on we can track vehicle acceleration/deceleration, braking, and turning, using the built-in accelerometer, thus improving passenger comfort, a more sustainable driving, and improved safety.

A number of parameters are used to guide the driver so that diesel/HVO/gas engines are driven as smoothly as possible at maximum fuel efficiency. In FleetControl we measure idle and coasting (rolling forward without using throttle or brake) time and show this in the driver’s onboard display giving relevant and real-time feedback to the driver. The goal is to minimize idle time and maximize coasting.

As electric buses do not use energy when idling, minimizing idle time becomes of less importance and coasting should also not be maximized. It is true that some energy is regenerated when coasting, however by using regenerative braking when the vehicle stops at a traffic light or a bus stop, driving becomes more efficient.

Coach operators currently have a mixed fleet of EV and fossil-free buses (e.g. HVO or gas) and the challenge was to develop a solution that will enable a similar driving pattern across all bus types and use the same recognizable interface. Sustainable driving is one goal, however the focus is also on smooth driving and increased passenger comfort.

Smooth acceleration/deceleration and reduced corner speed will lead to increased comfort, a more sustainable driving and improved safety across all bus types. The developed solution is based on measuring lateral and longitudinal acceleration i.e. how much the bus is accelerating and decelerating and corner angle.

The new Eco-drive solution was released in early 2022 and will be deployed in a phased rollout with our customers. Our preliminary findings show that driving has become even smoother than before which is completely in line with Triona’s sustainability goals. We want to contribute to reducing carbon footprint by enabling our customers in their sustainability work.

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