Fleet management specialist ViriCiti has begun rolling out a major implementation of its Smart Charging service for Qbuzz, a public transport operator in the Netherlands that runs a fleet of 782 vehicles.
Qbuzz will use ViriCiti’s Smart Charging solution to manage a total of 163 chargers (both plug-in and pantograph) from Heliox and ABB, which represent a total installed capacity of 24.04 MW, and serve 164 electric buses operating in the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Drenthe.
ViriCiti’s Smart Charging service, which can be integrated with multiple OEMs, offers several functions designed to reduce costs and improve charging efficiency, including load balancing, peak shaving and remote cabin preconditioning. ViriCiti’s intelligent algorithm provides real-time charging information and predicts the remaining range of the e-buses.
Through load balancing, Smart Charging mitigates infrastructure limitations by allowing users to set a maximum power per charger group, and control the charging speed of individual chargers. It also allows operators to avoid costly demand charges. Scheduled load balancing can further reduce energy costs by taking advantage of time-of-use tariffs.
By optimizing their charging schedules, operators can accommodate a larger number of electric buses than their existing charging infrastructure would otherwise allow.
“Qbuzz is taking the next step on the road towards Zero-Emission transport,” said Tim van Twuijver, Sustainability Manager at Qbuzz. “Smart charging is of great importance in this respect, helping us achieve an optimal use of our large electric bus fleets.”
“This Smart Charging project marks an important milestone for ViriCiti, as it is the largest one in the world to date where the chargers are controlled remotely from the cloud,” said Freek Dielissen, co-founder and CEO of ViriCiti. “With our Smart Charging solution, we help operators not only to save significant costs by avoiding demand charges, but also to have more buses on the road due to an efficient charging process.”