Ricardo E400ER study to explore flexible air quality zones

Ricardo flexible air quality zones study to launch

Ricardo is embarking on a study to explore whether flexible emission control zones, dynamically utilising the geofenced engine-off capability of Alexander Dennis (ADL) Enviro400ER extended range diesel-electric hybrids, could further improve air quality.

It has received funding from the Geospatial Commission in partnership with Innovate UK to enhance transport location data. That will potentially allow those hybrid buses to intelligently modify how they operate to deliver air quality and emissions benefits.

The forthcoming three-month study will utilise the geofenced engine-off capability of Brighton and Hove Buses’ fleet of 54 Enviro400ERs to explore the benefits of flexible emission control zones in responding dynamically to changes in air quality.

Ricardo says it will be carrying out “detailed simulations with full traffic models to assess how different approaches would affect air quality and emissions.”

The Enviro400ER utilises geofencing to run in engine-off mode when appropriate. It has a 32kW/h battery pack that allows it to operate for up to three miles like that, ADL says.

The Ricardo study will also examine the extension of dynamic geofencing to taxis and delivery vans so that they can additionally switch to engine-off mode in emission control zones.