If you really want to help the environment, use public transportation more and your car less. That’s a pretty basic rule. But while public transportation is definitely a more sustainable way to get around, in its current form it has broad room for improving its sustainability report card. According to the European Commission, urban mobility accounts for around 40% of total CO₂ emissions generated by the transport sector.
Electrification offers cities and other urban areas a huge opportunity to reduce all transport-related emissions – not only greenhouse gasses, but also pollutants like NOx and particulate matter (PM). However, electric public transportation is not just good for the environment: by improving urban air quality and reducing noise levels (by up to 75%) it improves, in turn, citizens’ quality of life. Furthermore, the electrification of public transportation also makes economic sense: a urban transport system running on e-buses (i.e., electric buses) can lead to savings in operating expenses, cutting consumption and maintenance costs by around 50% and 40% respectively, and leaving more funds for public administrations to invest in other projects.
Finally, the introduction of electric buses and their charging infrastructure also brings the possibility of enhancing the efficiency of the transportation service through the use of advanced software solutions for monitoring and optimizing charging management (which also allows to minimize energy consumption and operating costs).
Fully integrated, turnkey solutions for electric public transport
Electrifying public transportation assumes a true paradigm shift and involves an integrated ecosystem of hardware and software solutions, new business processes and plenty of technical parameters and data to be taken into consideration. The complexity of the electrification process explains the need for an integrated approach to combine multiple actors and various know-how and expertise. Hence, finding a partner that can handle all aspects of the electrification process is key to the project’s success. This is where Enel X Global Retail comes into the picture. Enel X designed a fully integrated, turnkey “as-a-service” solution, taking care of and managing every stage of the electric transition process of a bus fleet: from preliminary feasibility analysis and customized design studies, to the construction of the entire electric infrastructure, the supply and maintenance of buses and charging stations, all the way to the provision of green energy and smart charging software.
Enel X is currently the main global player outside China in terms of solutions for electrification of public road transport. Today Enel X is:
- operating over 90 projects in 12 countries;
- providing over 350 GWh per year to power public urban mobility;
- enabling the electrification of about 4,000 electric buses in more than 40 cities;
- counting about 1,800 charging stations and more than 30 electroterminals worldwide.
Enel X has designed the eBus as-a-service to reduce complexities and streamline the electric transition of a bus fleet through an end-to-end holistic solution, where any upfront investment is totally replaced by periodic transparent fees (calculated on predictable costs). Our “as-a-service” model is extremely flexible and modular, designed to adapt to different fleet sizes and to address specific customer needs. For instance, the project managed by Enel X may or may not include the supply of the electric fleet, according to the specific needs of the individual customer; in the latter case, the project will be developed on a “Charging as-a-service” solution. Moreover, the model is scalable and suitable to multiple fleet types as well; indeed, besides urban buses for public transport, also school buses, waste and logistics trucks, tourist shuttles and ambulances (among others) are suitable to be electrified through our as-a-service solutions.
Turin: the pioneer city of the e-Bus as-a-service model in Italy
The northern Italian city of Turin has taken its commitment to greening its public transport, reducing greenhouse gasses and other atmospheric pollutants thanks to a long-term deal with Enel X. Through our e-Bus as-a-service solution the city’s public transport operator -Cavourese - has electrified part of its fleet, enhancing the sustainability and cost effectiveness of its service.
Turin was the first city in Italy to implement this type of solution, which calls on Enel X to supply new full-electric buses and to handle additional services like bus maintenance, charging infrastructure and charging monitoring software, along with the supply of green energy to power the fleet. The 14 buses of the fleet are powered through 9 charging stations installed at 2 depots. The solution enables Turin to cut its CO₂ emissions from public transport by around 5,000 tons per year, equivalent to the amount absorbed annually by 27,000 trees.
Electric school buses for children with disabilities in Rome
Enel X completed in Rome its first integrated project on electric school buses, an as-a-service solution dedicated to the school transportation of children with disabilities. Enel X (in partnership with XBus Italia and the operator Arriva Italia) has provided a specially-equipped fleet of 20 school buses which silently and cleanly shuttles children to and from school in the Eternal City. These school buses are not only quiet and sustainable, but they are inclusive too, with access-easing features like hydraulic wheelchair lifters. Moreover, they feature sophisticated safety equipment, including defibrillators and an innovative telemedicine application that enables emergency health support during transport, if needed.
In Chile electric ambulances rush to the rescue and help the environment
In 2020, Enel Chile donated to the Chilean Red Cross 2 electric ambulances – the first ones in Latin America – and the related charging points. Each ambulance had an autonomy of 200 km per charge, 70% lower operational costs compared to conventional ambulances (reaching around 30 USD per kilometer vs 80 USD for diesel-powered equivalents) and allowed to reduce the amount of CO₂ released by almost 6 tons in one year’s service. The electric ambulances proved crucial in carrying out preventive health campaigns for homeless people and residents from high Covid infection-risk communities. This was the first initiative involving full-electric ambulances, a significant case proving that Enel X’s solutions for fleet electrification are suitable to different types of transport fleets, bringing benefits in terms of cost savings and lower environmental impact.
An electric garbage truck to collect urban waste silently in Colina
In another pioneering initiative in Chile, Enel X and the town council of Colina (in the northern part of Santiago Metropolitan Region) launched the first project with an electric waste collection truck in Latin America. The Hel PT1100 waste truck - provided by Enel X and operated by local waste management company Starco - has a range of 250 kilometers. By relying on electric power, the truck will enable savings in operating and maintenance costs and will contribute to reducing CO₂ emissions by 34 tons over its yearly 24,700 km route (equivalent to planting 201 trees each year). Furthermore, it is worth to highlight the valuable impact on the life quality of the citizens of Colina, who will benefit from cleaner air and even from a significant reduction in noise pollution, thanks to the introduction of an electric garbage truck.
Seasonal transport service with Enel X’s electric shuttle in Sardinia
In summer 2022, Enel X tested for the first time a seasonal transport service under the banner of sustainability and commitment to local communities. Enel X offered the Italian municipality of Iglesias (in Sardinia Island) a full-electric shuttle to move residents and tourists among the most attractive sites, boosting the regular transport service of the territory to cope with the peak demand during the summer months. The project lasted 3 months and involved the free loan of use of the shuttle (a 8-seater bus equipped to transport a disabled person, with a 47 KWh battery and a range of 120 km) and the supply of 100% green energy to power the shuttle at public charging stations.
Moreover, in December 2022 Enel X chose Iglesias again to test its new mobility service for electric shuttles and buses, the on-demand transport service, which further confirms the flexibility of “as-a-service” solutions and the opportunity to design innovative e-transport projects tailored to meet the unique needs of each customer. The project included a management software and a dedicated mobile app, through which citizens were able to reserve a trip at a convenient time and to be picked-up at pre-defined locations.