Jun 08

What CAN Line data should you monitor in (electric) buses?

CAN line data you should monitor

Plenty of information is available in your (electric) bus that goes far beyond the information displayed on your bus’ dashboard. Speed, odometer, and battery state of charge (SOC), which are on the dashboard, are just a few small pieces of information. You can greatly improve your operations by using the information that is sent over the CAN lines.

Here are some examples of parameters you can read from CAN lines:

  • Detailed battery information (up to cell level)
  • Accelerator and brake pedal position
  • Diagnostic messages (DM1)
  • Dashboard warning and errors
  • HVAC information
  • Door information
  • And much more…\

Putting your data to work will result in improved operations, more transparency with your supplier, and better-scheduled maintenance. Therefore, it’s very important to agree with your OEM on the data that is available to you! Keep in mind that OEMs don’t share all this data by default and the earlier you ask for it, the higher the chances you will get access to it.

Over the last 8 years, we have collaborated with over 200 bus operators and vehicle manufacturers and we have compiled extremely detailed CAN parameter lists.  We have over 100 unique parameters and for every bus type. 

Do you want access to this list? Simply send us an email at info@viriciti.com

What CAN Line data should you monitor in (electric) buses

We recommend using this information when writing out a tender or finalizing the purchase agreements with your OEM. For more information, you can have a look at our free webinar: From tenders to operations. How to start your e-bus fleet with data.

The 3 main benefits of monitoring the right data on the CAN line

Improved Operations

One of the challenges when deploying electric buses is range anxiety; you don’t know whether your bus will make the next route. Often to play it safe, one bus is exchanged for another, and you end up needing more buses to complete your routes.

If amongst others, consumption data is made available, you can analyze your HVAC consumption, by calculating for instance the difference between hot and cold days, making it easier for you to plan your routes accordingly. When you combine this with live data, you will be able to check your buses’ performance in real-time and you can utilize them better and prevent unwanted escalations.

improved operations and reduced range anxiety

Transparency Regarding Warranty

When purchasing your electric buses, your OEM will provide you with a warranty contract. In this document, the OEM will state what the maximum battery degradation will be by the end of that contract. The contract often refers to preconditions that must be met, including ones that cover battery temperatures, SOC, energy used, or full charge cycles.

A high level of transparency is created by making this information insightful for both OEM and operator. Both parties can actively monitor the state of the buses and receive alerts whenever limits are being exceeded. Here you can find more information on understanding battery warranty.

Smarter Maintenance

To make sure your buses are running smoothly and safely it is important to keep up with maintenance. Often this is done by inspecting the vehicle before it goes on the route, for example, its lights, coolant level, and engine oil level. This results in a lot of paperwork for the maintenance team and is prone to human errors.

Another way of maintenance is done based on the odometer of the bus, which is a very static approach and buses might be too late for maintenance or costs are made for unnecessary maintenance. By having real-time data available, you can reduce the costs of maintenance as you don’t have to physically check the bus’s vital functions before route and you can base your maintenance on the actual performance of your bus.

real time data for your bus fleet

The parameters on your bus can be transformed into pro-active alerts for maintenance, and fault codes will help you identify active issues on your bus. This data will also support you on the SLA you might have with your OEM regarding maintenance on bus parts.

Do you want the complete CAN Line Parameters list for your bus? Send us an email.

About The Author

We are the ViriCiti marketing team. A group of EV enthusiasts writing about the most important aspects of operating electric fleets. From monitoring to smart charging.