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POWER ELECTRONICS


fleet. Elsewhere, Paris has renewed its public bus fleet with 100% electric buses, making it a world leader in sustainable public transport. Over the next decade, most of Europe’s bus fleets are predicted to reap the benefits of electrified transport. And benefits there certainly are. The


cost of maintenance for electric buses is around 25% lower than that of a diesel bus, as the electric motor doesn’t need the same level of servicing that a diesel one requires. Electric engine losses are also considerably lower than a diesel engines, lowering the cost per kilometre of electric bus travel. However, the e-bus phenomenon


presents cities with some major challenges: namely technological uncertainty, large up-front investment and the need for new capabilities. It is therefore important that the long-term efficiency of these vehicles outshines their substantial initial expenditure and that the technology is in place to transform potential into reality. Not only do cities need to revamp


their infrastructure, as charging stations could require a full redesign of bus depots, but software solutions must also be considered to effectively manage vehicle operations. This may include building IT systems that can monitor and handle a potentially complex web of timetables and charging schedules. Real-time energy system monitoring is also required to prevent malfunctions and delays.


BEAR THE LOAD There is also concern over how other heavier vehicles will be electrified. In late 2017, Tesla announced that its Semi heavy electric truck would be ready for production by 2020. Enticing the industry with pledges of a 500- mile driving range and solar-powered ‘Megacharger’ stations, the company certainly has a lot to deliver if it is to act on its promises. Many people are speculating about


the exact specifications of the Tesla Semi. One of the most important items in question seems to be its weight. If the EV is to require several electric motors to power it, this weight would be roughly comparable to that of a diesel engine. With the addition of the truck’s battery weight, the components inside EVs must be refined so that they can


bear the load of this extra mass without it impacting efficiency. Despite slick marketing campaigns and captivating masterplans, there is still a long way to go before we see a complete overhaul of heavy vehicles. In 2018, 97% of trucks and 100% of camper vans sold in Europe were diesel powered. To help make ambitions of electric heavy vehicles become a reality, we must assess and perfect the components going into them — and the focus shouldn’t solely be on batteries.


THE REGENERATION GAME According to Toyota, the average car is made up of 30,000 parts, right down to each individual screw. These parts must battle adverse weather conditions, withstand repeated bouts of acceleration


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