SWOT Analysis Highlights the Strategic Potential of Electrification

The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis performed by consortium partner SIEMENS on the feasibility studies addressed within the ELIPTIC use cases has shed some light on the future of the proposed technologies. The analysis, based on questionnaires and interviews conducted with the use case leaders, groups the results in clusters according to the characteristics of the cities and their technological approach. Some general conclusions of the analysed four technological clusters include:

Cluster 1 - Electricity from existing public transport grids to power electric bus charging points: This technology has shown its strengths in the robustness of the public transport grid and enough available capacity, particularly during off-peak times and at nights. While the connection points are not available throughout the whole bus service area, their location at strategic points such as depots and route terminals may be able to serve many routes effectively.

Cluster 2 - Hybrid trolleybuses: They are valuable elements in the extension of trolley systems with the potential of replacing a significant amount of diesel bus routes. The refurbishment of existing fleets with batteries has proven more cost-effective than the procurement of new units, but the opportunity to obtain governmental financing could help operators increase the number of hybrid units in operation. Still, technical improvements of the wiring mechanism may be required to improve their operation in route extensions beyond the catenaries.

Cluster 3 - Braking energy recuperation and storage: Application of the technology is constrained to particular operation conditions that do not necessarily apply on all routes. The technology also competes strongly with storage technology (batteries) that has become more affordable. In some cases, however, both storage and reversible substations could work together in efficient energy recuperation systems. 

Cluster 4 - Electricity from existing public transport grids to power multimodal charging hubs: This technology shares many of the strengths found in Cluster 1, and while operators in several cities are currently constrained from providing commercial charging services, the immediate opportunity could be found in the electrification of utility fleets and other support vehicles.

The ELIPTIC SWOT analysis forms the basis of a qualitative Technological Viability Evaluation. This is complementary to the Conventional Full Evaluation with a technology application assessment.   


Tuesday, March 6, 2018