Electric bus design research project

Bringing a fresh perspective to the design of electric buses and infrastructure

A team at Monash is rethinking the design of electric buses and their infrastructure to bring about an advanced public transport system that will lower pollution and improve health.

Electric buses are being introduced around the world to lower pollution from diesel powered engines. However most of these vehicles have been designed around existing design principles for an internal combustion engine fitting into the bus structure.  Changing to electric with batteries in the bus and charging stations along a bus route means the bus and its associated infrastructure can be designed in a completely different way.

Project leader Dr Robbie Napper, from Monash’s Mobility Design Lab said “The Advanced Electric Bus System project will help Australia’s transport sector shift towards a more sustainable future.  We are particularly excited about piloting an innovative electric bus design for travel between Monash campuses”.

Dr Napper has brought together an interdisciplinary research team to tackle the challenges of providing an effective public transport solution in an emission-constrained environment.  The project integrates Monash expertise in vehicle design, engineering, business strategy, transport planning and operation, optimisation and micro power grid integration to develop a cohesive design strategy.

The research team has just started work on the Advanced Electric Bus System project.  At the end of 2017 the team will publish a strategy for designing an electric bus from the ground up that integrates into an energy efficient system.

The Advanced Electric Bus System project is supported financially by a Monash Infrastructure seed grant, the Bus Association of Victoria, the City of Greater Bendigo and has in-kind support from Volgren Australia Pty Ltd.

New design thinking for electric buse

Image courtesy of the Mobility Design Lab

The Mobility Design Lab is at the forefront of research to address mobility issues and is a key capability in Monash Infrastructure’s transport. The lab focuses on how design interventions improve a wide variety of physical, environmental and experiential aspects of mobility. The Mobility Design Lab is located within the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.  Its people collaborate widely with researchers across Monash and with the transport industry.