Sep 01

RET chooses ViriCiti to monitor 198 buses and 45 chargers

Photo: RET / R.Utrecht

ViriCiti’s platform helps RET monitor a mix of electric, diesel, and hybrid buses plus depot and on-route chargers in one single platform. 

Context

The Randstad, the densest urban region in the Netherlands, is known for a relatively high level of air pollution. RET, one of the largest public transport operators in the Netherlands, has been taking responsible action in addressing this issue through their gradual transition to sustainable transport. In 2020, the Rotterdam-based public transport operator has introduced 55 electric buses and 103 hybrid ones in the region. RET plans to provide completely emission-free transport by 2030, helping to increase the quality of life in the region.

 

Challenges

Range anxiety: The first e-buses didn’t come without some initial concerns — like wondering if the vehicles are able to finish their routes.

Technical differences from diesel buses: “If there is an issue with e-buses, you now have to look at a laptop, not under the hood of the bus. The technical side of e-buses is very different from diesel. But ViriCiti helps us with data access.” said Rene van Oostenbrugge, Maintenance Engineer & E-Mobility Specialist. 

Complex operation across different bus technologies (electric, diesel, hybrid), charger and vehicle manufacturers, planning systems, and charging infrastructure. 

 

Solution

RET is now monitoring 198 buses and 45 chargers using ViriCiti’s telematics system. The public transport operator chose ViriCiti as the preferred monitoring solution for the reliability of its data, its data integration capabilities, and the real-time fleet overview that it offers. RET also integrates historical and real-time data from the ViriCiti dashboard into their own SAP database, in order to run in-depth customer analysis and achieve more efficient route and charging planning.

 

Results

Condition-based maintenance of electric vehicles: “We need data for managing electric buses. Without the system of ViriCiti, the conditioned-based maintenance of the electric vehicles would not be possible. ViriCiti is the perfect tool for our data needs.” – Rene van Oostenbrugge, Maintenance Engineer & E-Mobility Specialist.

Centralized operation and fleet overview: RET pulls this data into their own traffic control system, in order to have a centralized operation and to see where the buses are, if they are charging, or if any issues are encountered. “Without the data provided by ViriCiti, this would be much more difficult.” When necessary, charger resets are performed via the ViriCiti platform to fix charger connectivity issues remotely. 

Range comparable to diesel buses: The transport operator revealed that due to an optimized charging infrastructure and effective planning, its electric buses can drive as much as their diesel ones (400-500 km/day).

 

There were still a lot of unknowns with managing electric buses. ViriCiti enables us to gather data for analysis to improve processes in the future. Real-time bus monitoring is another important featurefor us. It gives us great visibility, it’s like our eyes.”

Eric Lensink, Program and Project Manager, RET

 

RET bus overview in the ViriCiti dashboard

About The Author

Cristiana Stoian, Communications Manager and ViriCitizen