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Mobility Measure

Energy-efficient trams and trolley buses

Brno was aiming to make its tram and trolley bus network more energy efficient by reducing electricity consumption for the heating system without negative impacts for passengers.

Implementing sustainable mobility

This measure aims to reduce the peak usage of energy for trams and trolley buses in order to limit the contracted reserve capacity and the related costs. 

Brno Public Transport Company (DPMB) has to contract its annual expected amount of electricity to ensure the electric vehicles operation. To obtain a balanced energy distribution, there is also a requirement for DPMB to book monthly a reserve capacity for each 15-minute interval. The costs related to reserve capacity have a negative influence on the cost of electricity because unused capacity still needs to be paid and exceeding the contracted reserve capacity is heavily penalised.

To achieve these objectives a remote heating control is installed in 380 electric vehicles (240 trams and 140 trolleybuses). This includes also an automatic warning system which in case of reaching the level of reserve capacity will generate the message to be transferred to the on-board computer in the electric vehicle and switch off the heating automatically for 5 minutes.

This new system was presented to the public during the European Mobility Week and the CIVITAS Day and trough articles in the regional newspapers and in the periodical magazine about public transport in Brno for passengers. The new system was presented also at the targeted expert meeting of public transport operators which took place in the city of Most (April 2012) and to the representatives from Bratislava PT Company (Slovakia).

How did the measure progress?

The measures started with pilot project when the system was installed in the 20 electric vehicles, which included all types which were operated within Brno public transport fleet.
After the positive evaluation of the pilot project, system was installed in to the 380 trams and trolleybuses.


The measure continues after the end of the project.


What were the outcomes of the measure?

Brno expected from this measure:

  • Energy-efficient regulation of the heating system in trolley buses and trams; and
  • A reduction in operational costs of public transport.

Final results:

  1. Reserve capacity – The annual reduction of reserve capacity reaches 15 000 kW (6.2%). Exceeding the planned reserve capacity was avoided. In 2012, DPMB contracts 6.24% less of additional reserve capacity due to new system of remote control of heating in the trams and trolley buses.
  2. Cost reduction - In spite of the fact that the total costs of reserve capacity still depend on expected energy consumption, the annual cost reduction for the total fleet equipped with the system exceeds the envisaged 50,000EUR and will reach over 67,000EUR for 2012. Total savings due to the operation of the system reach almost 132,000 EUR for the whole project duration whereas the costs of the system were 58,839 EUR.
  3. Temperature in vehicle – A slight decrease in temperatures measured in winter 2010 to the ones in 2011 in 9 out of 10 types of trams and no temperature decrease in trolleybuses was observed. However, the stronger winter in 2011 is a factor influencing the fall of temperature in the vehicles.

The whole system was certificated by Czech Railwas Authority and can be implemented by all other public operators in Czech Republic.


Basic Information

June 2013

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