Case Study

Power Reply is supporting Enel X in the electrification of local public transport

A collaboration to guide the electrification processes of bus fleets in various Italian cities

A collaboration for the “green” transition of public transport in Italy

Local public transport is currently undergoing a more ambitious and extensive electrification process, posing new challenges for both transport operators and energy transformation service providers. Indeed, it is not only about implementing new technologies, but also about managing new habits related to the way we travel.

In this context, Power Reply has partnered with Enel X to research and identify the best strategies for implementing low-impact solutions for public administrations and transport operators in Italy.

A technical analysis of the fleet’s requirements

To support Enel X in the development of electrification strategies for local public transport, Power Reply has specialised in conducting technical and economic feasibility analyses aimed at assessing the conversion of the local road public transport service fleet with electric buses.

In conducting these complex analyses, Power Reply has adopted an integrated approach which makes it possible to carry out a detailed technical study of the requirements of the fleet, starting with the analysis of the “as is” context of the local transport lines, up to the economic assessment of the investment.

Analysis of the «as is» context

Analysis of the local territorial context and of the public transport lines involved in the transformation, mapping of stops and routes, and analysis of operating schedules.

Selection of target lines to be electrified

Selection of the transport lines on which to implement the electrification process, based on the evaluation criteria of the transport operating parameters.

Energy consumption rate estimate

The energy consumption of the vehicles to be used is estimated by using a simulation model of the movement of buses on specific routes.

Service reprogramming

An overall redefinition of the service timetables is carried out, based on the level of charge of the batteries and the need to recharge the individual vehicles.

Charge planning

Depending on the characteristics of the service and the posibility to create charging stations, it is possible to schedule the recharging of the buses and to estimate the power required to meet the energy needs.

Two models for optimising the implementation of electric buses

To support these complex feasibility analyses, Power Reply has created two simulation models that make it possible to calculate specific transformation parameters strictly needed to carry out the assessments.

Fleet simulation model

The simulation model describes the actual movement of the vehicle and calculates the electricity consumption on the selected route, starting from inputs such as time, distance travelled, road gradients and the number of passengers transported to each stop.

Starting from the calculation of the energy consumed, the simulation model enables the definition of the optimal configuration of the electric bus fleet needed for the conversion of diesel or methane buses.

Economic assessment model

The calculation model enables an economic assessment of the investment necessary for the electrification of the fleet. This model makes it possible to compare the “as is” and the planned electric fleet, highlighting three distinct elements:

  • The expected economic savings, as a result of the lower refuelling and maintenance costs

  • The expected energy savings, as a result of avoiding the use of fossil fuels for the circulation of buses

  • The expected environmental savings, as a result of the zero impact of electric buses in terms of CO2 and the lower noise impact.

Power Reply is the Reply group company focused on the Energy & Utilities market. It combines a deep knowledge of the market and of business processes with a distinctive skill in the implementation and management of applications that support the "core"​ activities of their customers. Power Reply offers services of Business Consulting, IT Advisory and Digital Strategy supporting companies in the process of optimizing IT investments by providing solutions and services in line with the energy transition and decarbonization path.