Designing the future of e-buses: the EBSF_2 Design Charter for Innovative Electric Buses

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Buses are the world’s most widely used mode of passenger transport, but new technologies, digitalisation and the emergence of new players are pushing for a change in the way buses are designed to place customer experience even closer to the centre of their work.

In 2016, UITP took the lead to draft the first ever Design Charter for Innovative Electric Buses, in collaboration with designers from Attoma, MAN Truck & Bus AG, RATP and Yellow Window.. As part of the European Bus System of the Future 2 project (EBSF_2), which came to a close at the end of April 2018, the Charter was meant to use the transition from fuel to electricity as an opportunity to improve customer experience

Electrically-powered buses allow designers to envision a new architecture for revamping the bus experience on its own terms, matching mobility industry trends and the wider social evolution. The Charter consists of illustrated design principles which are translated in coherent and understandable architecture hypothesis for e-buses. Such architecture hypothesis are not stylistic and aesthetic recommendations for the design of future buses, but principles that manufacturers might be able to interpret and adapt according to their own design culture and processes. To get the full perspective of the bus ecosystem, the Charter integrated the views of passengers, operators, manufacturers and city leaders.

The structure of the Charter is designed like a journey, from the vehicle’s exiting the garage to the end of its run in the depot. The first element presented in the charter is the presence in the city or how recognisable the e-buses are in the urban landscape, followed by the first contact of users at the stations, the access at the station and the boarding.

The approach being proudly customer-centric, an important part of the Charter is dedicated to the users’ experience inside the vehicle. From the entrance of the passenger to the validation of tickets, the seating, layout, safety, information provided, all the different aspects have been carefully analysed.

The last part of the Charter is more devoted to the vehicle in daily life, from the sound design, to the integration of advertising, as well as the integration of charging infrastructure in the cityscape. 

The final version of the EBSF_2 Design Charter for Innovative Electric Buses has been published and presented to the public, in the occasion of the EBSF_2 Final Conference on 18 April 2018.

Download the full Charter here!

Interested in learning more about how to successful integrate and deploy electric buses? Register to attend our next training programme on Electric Buses in Cologne, Germany!

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