Jul 21

Top 4 Factors That Impact The Electric Bus (Vehicle) Range

When it comes to electric vehicles one of the operation aspects people often have concerns and questions about is the range. To make the most of your EV and reduce range anxiety it is important to have a good understanding of the factors which impact the range of an electric bus. 

Below we compiled a shortlist of the main factors which impact range. We also provide tips on how to improve that range for every single factor. 

Driver Behavior 

One main factor which influences the range of a vehicle is the driver behavior. Optimal driver behavior includes driving as smoothly as possible and minimizing harsh acceleration or harsh braking events. This allows for the vehicle to have the maximum operational range, and maintain battery health.  The smoother the overall driving style, the better.

💡Tip! Drivers should decelerate slowly in order to maximize range. At ViriCiti we offer a Smart Driving package that can provide further insights into driver behavior, with driver style analysis, actionable insights, and summary reports. 

Weather Conditions 

Although weather conditions are unpredictable and more out of a driver’s control than the driver’s behavior, it is still important to keep in mind how weather conditions affect the range. 

For example, heavy use of the HVAC can dramatically decrease the range of an electric vehicle. The optimal condition to maximize range is to minimize HVAC usage. According to research from AAA outside temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or -6 Celsius can decrease electric car range by an average of 41 percent (as long as the HVAC system is turned on and heating the car). The HVAC system is a significant part of the range loss equation.

💡Tip! Minimize HVAC usage when possible to maximize range. Pre-conditioning (pre-heating the electric bus) in winter also helps.

Topography 

The terrain of the road is another factor that has an impact on the range of an electric vehicle.  The flatter the terrain the more optimal for the range of the electric vehicle. Hilly terrains require more energy and can cause the battery to drain much more quickly. 

💡Tip! If possible choose a flatter route over one with more hills when available. The smoother the better. Also, make sure drivers know how to use regenerative braking instead of using mechanical brakes.

Number of stops

Getting a bus in motion requires a lot more energy than coating (moving a bus at a constant speed). Thus a bus that operates on a route with many stops will consume more energy and thus reduce its range more than a bus that operates on an express route. 

💡Tip! Use busses with larger batteries on routes that have many stops or make sure you have an optimized charging infrastructure along the route that allows you to keep the bus running. 


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