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Hybrid bus

Monza

The aim of this measure was to undertake research on how to procure and operate a hybrid bus in Monza.

Implementing sustainable mobility

No vehicles with potentials of zero emission driving within the inner city are currently available in Monza. About 73 buses owned by NET go through Monza every day only to pursue Urban Public Transport Service. The fleet is constituted of 20 Euro0 buses, 6 Euro1 buses, 29 Euro2 buses, 8 Euro3 buses, 1 Euro4 bus, 5 EEV buses. There is a high expectation by the citizens that the Public Transport fleet could be the benchmark in terms of best practices for Sustainable Mobility, especially for air pollution.

The measure objectives are:
 

  • To make Public Urban Transport cleaner reducing emissions and human exposure to air pollution
  • To gain best practice examples from other cities who have implemented a hybrid bus and to develop a technical specification for the delivery of a hybrid bus.
  • To reduce emissions value with respect to traditionally diesel fuelled buses in order to to reduce the environmental impact of Public Transport fleet in the City, especially for greenhouse gases (GHGs), and to have an awareness raising effect on other local fleet operators and individual citizens.
  • To test performances of the hybrid bus, in order to verify if decisions about future procurements by Public Transport (PT) companies can shift towards hybrid technology.

 

The measure has achieved these aims through:

  • Carrying out a Hybrid Bus Specification Study; and
  • Procuring and operating a Hybrid Bus.
How did the measure progress?

The city of Monza, through TPM, Trasporti Pubblici Monzesi, partner in ARCHIMEDES project and former provider of Public Transport service in the city, has developed a study for the delivery of a hybrid bus. Exploiting outcomes of the study for the most suitable bus to Monza needs, it has been decided to test the VanHool in series hybrid bus, model A330Hyb in particular, through a leasing contract activated by NET, Nord Est Trasporti, which, in the meanwhile, has become the new Public Transport provider.

Unfortunately, Van Hool, which has scheduled the delivery of the bus by January 2011, communicated a delay in the procurement, so in replacement of this bus it was decided to test the IVECO Citelis Hybrid bus, which presented the same technical features. The bus was presented in May 2011 and, after a training period for drivers, it was put into operation on Line Z206, one of the most frequented lines in Monza, connecting the eastern area of the city, very densely populated, with the city centre, the hospital and the University.

After summer 2011, the hybrid bus presented major anomalies which caused too frequent stops of the bus and consequent repairs in workshop, being a prototype originally intended for the French market. For this reason, after NET complains, IVECO replaced the prototype bus with a second generation one, which, although presenting the same technical features, has now fully entered into the production chain, so it does no longer present the manufacturing defects shown by the prototype. The new bus started to be operational in May 2012, after completing all administrative accomplishments, and has been tested until December 2012, in order to test its performances both in summer and winter conditions.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

When ARCHIMEDES project was submitted, the demonstration stage of the measure was in charge to TPM, which managed PT in Monza as a company 100% owned by the Municipality. For these reasons, future choices about vehicles’ procurement could be somehow addressed by Comune of Monza, as the sole shareholder of the society. After the merging of TPM with NET, the capacity of Comune of Monza to influence choices about future procurements of a private company, in no way connected to the decision-making dynamics of the Municipality, is virtually non-existent. For this reason, initial expectations of replacing the entire PT fleet with hybrid vehicles proved too optimistic if compared to the later evolution of design events.

The immaturity of  hybrid technology has implied problems in the implementation of the measure, firstly as far as times of procurement were concerned, and secondly for the technological problems presented by the first bus delivered. After IVECO provided the second bus, there were no more problems during the demonstration stage and this reflects the fact that hybrid vehicles are now fully entered in the production chain.

Nevertheless, Monza experience has been very useful to understand problems which can arise when testing a new technology. First of all, it proved useful to consult different suppliers, since this allowed a quick decision to replace Van Hool bus when this could not be delivered in due time. For this reason, in case of a massive replacement of traditionally fuelled buses with hybrid vehicles, it will be important to verify the production capacity of the chosen supplier. Last but not least, trade press and web coverage have proved very useful in order to raise awareness about the implementation of the measure: in future, dissemination could push other cities, PT companies or even private companies to test hybrid technology, so exploiting Monza experience.

  • Key result 1 -  Hybrid bus reported higher mileage from 23% to 38% if compared with a traditionally diesel fuelled bus.
  • Key result 2 - Emissions connected to the use of diesel fuel were significantly reduced (since the hybrid bus uses less fuel), although particulate emissions increased due to the fact that no particulate filter was installed on the vehicle.
  • Key result 3 – Thanks to the press coverage and to the replacement of the first bus with a second generation one, awareness of people about the implementation of the measure, about technical features of the bus and the improvement of the quality of service has significantly increased.

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