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STARBUS - Promoting Sustainable Energetic Pathways for Buses' Fleets   

Urban buses reduce individual transport, reinforce attractiveness for public transport and enhance city's image. However, choosing between all energy pathways available like Biofuels, NGV, LPG, Diesel and so on, with their specific advantages (not often easily valorised as pollutions, GHG, noise…) and their inconveniences (costs, practise & expertise changes), presents barriers to decision makers.
The STARBUS Project, financially supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, is led by ADEME, French Agency for Environment and Energy Management, and aims to establish a common pathway that promotes alternative routes for buses in Europe and potentially for the entire fleet of vehicles.
The STARBUS project objective is to facilitate market introduction of new technologies or fuels for urban buses. To do so, it has developed a Decision Tool that valorises environmental benefits and provides bus networks managers with aggregated criteria coupling classic economic costs and emissions costs valorisation.
STARBUS uses a new approach based on the real performances of the vehicles when they are working along specific service routes, rather than using a predefined driving cycle which can differ from real conditions.

The criteria used for comparison between different vehicle/fuel pathways are environmental, economic and technical - for both vehicle and fuel. The environmental criteria include regulated pollutants, GHG and noise emissions. The economic criteria include internal costs such as bus cost, operation cost, maintenance cost and cost of infrastructure.
On the basis of the defined criteria, a methodology for comparison was chosen, based on literature review of relevant studies.

The STARBUS methodology is fully in line with the new Directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles for public procurement, requiring operational lifetime costs of energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and pollutant emissions to be included as award criteria for all procurement of road transport vehicles by public authorities.



                                        StarBus Methodology


Fuel consumption, pollutants, noise emissions and exhaust temperature are four indicators that play a basic role in the decision making process, and these indicators are strictly related to the route and driving profile. Normally, measurements of these indicators on roller bench are carried out using a predefined driving cycle which is a synthesis of the urban or extra-urban driving path. Thus, measurements of emission and fuel consumption using these driving profiles can be quite different from real values through all cities in Europe.

In the STARBUS project, to overcome this limit, on-board measurements were carried out to produce a central database including, for each pathway, for all engine speed and load:
- regulated pollutants emissions CO, HC total, NO, NO2 and PM,

- green houses gases (GHG) emissions CO2.
This central database coupled with transient factors can be re-used to calculate emissions in real conditions based on "simple" measurements coming from an innovative system developed during the project called PAMS and described below.

For each pollutant and for each pathway, a 10x10 matrix (10 engine speeds from idle to 2300 rpm and 10 loads from 0 to full load) was built. In total, 20 vehicle/fuel pathways were characterised from Euro 0 to Euro 5, with 6 parameters (pollutants, GHG and fuel consumption). These 20 pathways represent more than 90% of European urban buses. Moreover, all users will be able to add new pathway characterisation once validated by administrator. STARBUS database will thus be kept fully up to date.

In order to characterise a real bus route, STARBUS project developed and validated a Portable Activity Measurement System (PAMS), which can be easily connected on Euro III norm bus by connecting 2 wires and 24V supply. PAMS allows using the CAN vehicle information to measure engine speed and torque for various profiles of roads; these measurements are then used as input on the website Decision Tool to calculate emissions (pollutants, greenhouse gases, consumption, and noises…) for every pathway.
GPS information is also used in order to be able to follow the vehicle course in a map, and provide spatialised emissions. PAMS includes all theses technologies and allows easy measures transfer to web site Decision Tool using USB key.
Parametric study can also be done on traffic, busline or driving style influence.

In conclusion, this STARBUS Decision Tool:
- includes all major parameters (regulated pollutants, GHG / Fuel consumption from well to wheels and classic economic costs),
- estimates theses parameters based on real vehicle utilisation,
- is easy to use and free access,
- provides complete or aggregate results with high added value,
- is easy to improve with new pathways,
- And is coherent with future Directive on “Clean and energy efficient road transport vehicle” coming in 2010.

Decision tool is developed on internet with in association a powerful administration web site for easy evolutions. Web site will be totally free access with only personal and confidential account. Administration web site will have private access to central administrator of the Project (ADEME), and some national administrators.

Start Date and duration: January 2006, 36 months.

Partners: ADEME (França), CRES (Grécia), CRMT (França), BR (França), RATP (França), CETE (França), ENEA (Itália), KAPE (Polónia) 



Communication and dissemination actions:


Workshop "Transportes e Qualidade do Ar"

Presentation subject: STARBUS Project

Speaker: Gabriel Plassat




Presentation subject: STARBUS Project

Speaker: Carla Pinto Leite




Workshop "Soluções de Mobilidade e Novas Tecnologias"

Presentation subject: STARBUS Project

Speaker: Joana Fernandes 


News about the Project:

2008/08/31 - Notícia Jornal Strada, sobre o Projecto STARBUS



2008/09/30 - Entrevista para o Jornal Strada, sobre o Projecto STARBUS

Joana Fernandes


2008/10/29 - Entrevista para o Programa Energia Positiva da Rádio RDS e AMESEIXAL, sobre o Projecto STARBUS

: Joana Fernandes



Clean and energy efficient vehicles get go-ahead


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