Highlighting knowledge and innovation at the International Bus Conference

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And... that’s a wrap! The International Bus Conference 2019 has come to an end – and what a ride it was!

Aficionados and experts of everything bus could indulge themselves in sessions with leading international experts, see the newest market trends and developments, and – last but not least – discover the latest on bus projects.

Before the conference officially kicked off on Tuesday, visitors could start their conference right via various activities that highlighted research and innovation in the bus sector.

Certainly one of the biggest highlights on the research font was the kick-off meeting of the new Clean Bus Europe Platform (CBEP), within the frame of the European Commission’s Clean Bus Deployment Initiative. This new platform will provide the knowledge and technical support for more than 50 cities across Europe to boost the uptake of clean bus technologies. The CBEP is implemented by the APOLLLO-EU consortium and coordinated by UITP.

The meeting started with the welcoming words by Maja Bakran, Deputy Director-General of DG MOVE, who stressed the goal to have a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050 and the importance of changing transport trends. “We need to mobilise all policy levels to decarbonise public transport – trends need to change. The Clean Bus Europe Platform will provide all stakeholders – cities, PTOs and PTAs – with the support and knowledge to achieve this.” Following, Arno Kerkhof from UITP, highlighted the role of public transport and especially the bus sector to decarbonise urban transport to create more breathable and liveable cities. “Fleet renewal towards cleaner technologies is key to address the global urban challenges. The Clean Bus Europe Platform is a fundamental asset to support cities and operators in achieving their goals for clean bus deployment”.

The platform’s ‘champion cities’ such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cologne, London, and Muenster took the stage to share their experience with bringing clean buses to their streets. Participants were briefed on the project activities and main benefits, including the revised Clean Vehicle Directive presented by Dario Dubolino from DG MOVE, who closed the meeting encouraging participants to work together in the transition to cleaner technologies and build on each other’s experience to ensure a real uptake of clean buses across Europe. The Clean Bus Europe Platform has just taken off – so watch this space!

Fleet renewal towards cleaner technologies is key to address the global urban challenges

And there was a lot more to explore! In our Immersion Experience, enthusiasts heard from some of UITP’s most innovative bus projects and were welcomed on guided tours through the Busworld Europe exhibition for practical demonstrations from the biggest industry players.

The EBSF_2 project was one of the first ones to take the stage, with RATP’s Head of Design Yo Kaminagai presenting the project’s Design Charter for Innovative Electric Buses. Although the EBSF_2 project ended early 2018, its Design Charter is relevant as ever: it promotes buses as a mode of transportation in their own right, focusing not only on travellers but also on operators and cities.

Further innovative ideas came from Michał Skwierczyński, coordinator of BIOMOTIVE, a project which is paving the way towards the production and subsequent market penetration of bio-based automotive interior parts with enhanced technical and environmental performance. During the presentation, Skwierczyński highlighted the intermediate results and how the project will reach its goal, such as developing Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) – a material very often used in the automotive industry – that consists from 60 to 80% out of natural materials.

A full room gathered for the presentation of the JIVE project, which provided an overview of the fuel cell bus uptake through the project in Europe so far. Conclusions? While further cost reductions will be needed to ensure a larger uptake, significant progress has happened. So far, nine European cities and regions have placed bus orders, from five different suppliers have ordered their buses, and tenders are ongoing in other cities!

Another clean bus project welcoming a big crowd was ASSURED. Presented by Hans Bekkers, Business Development Manager Public Transport at VDL Bus & Coach, main point of discussion was the recently published ASSURED 1.0 Interoperability Reference, a new report which should boost the standardisation of e-bus charging. “Effective interoperability of e-bus charging infrastructure is an essential step towards an increased acceptance by industry and decision makers”, according to Bekkers. 

Effective interoperability of e-bus charging infrastructure is an essential step towards an increased acceptance by industry and decision makers

Finally, UITP’s new milestone BRTv2.0 project was presented to a big crowd where Arno Kerkhof shared UITP’s insights on how new technologies such as automation, electrification and connectivity can evolve BRT systems into innovative next generation operations. UITP is currently working on the structure of this global project, stay tuned and contact Efe Usanmaz if you are interested!

Stay tuned for the full wrap-up of the International Bus Conference!

Are you a city, authority or bus operator and are you interested in clean bus deployment? Contact Aida Abdulah to hear more about the CPEB and how you can join the Friends of CBEP!


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