Seven steps to energy sustainability of public transport: the Dnipro experience

Seven steps to energy sustainability of public transport: the Dnipro experience

In the spring of 2024, Ukrainian cities again faced planned and emergency power outages caused by enemy shelling of energy infrastructure. As in the winter of 2022-2023, public transport suffers greatly from this.

The electric transport system of the city of Dnipro. Source: NGO "Vision Zero"

During the event, Ihor Makovtsev, deputy mayor, director of the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure of the Dnipro City Council , gave a speech on "Adaptation of the transport system to energy crises and cooperation with energy companies". He introduced the webinar listeners to five steps that city authorities take to minimize the consequences of energy crises, most of which are implemented in close cooperation with energy supply companies:

  • development of schedules of hourly outages;
  • development of options for the operation of electric transport during the introduction of hourly restrictions on electricity;
  • monitoring of electricity consumption to adjust the load in conditions of electricity shortage;
  • organization of uninterrupted power supply of traffic light objects;
  • operational evacuation of rolling stock.

The second report at the webinar was devoted to the energy sustainability of the city's trolleybus network. First of all, we are talking about such steps as autonomous power supply at traction substations and the use of battery trolleybuses. This was told by Volodymyr Kobets, director of Dniprovskyi Elektrotransport KP . "During the first blackouts, we had a problem - prompt switching on of traction substations. We developed a cabinet for our own needs, where we placed batteries for backup power," said Volodymyr Kobets. One of the main characteristics of this cabinet is 6 hours of autonomous operation when switching and 10 hours in standby mode. Currently, six such facilities have been installed in the city. "This year, it is planned to increase the number of cabinets to 11," the official clarified.


Technical characteristics of AKSM-32100D battery trolleybuses. Source: NGO "Vision Zero".

The next step is the use of battery trolleybuses. According to Volodymyr Kobts, the Dnipro trolleybus park now has 185 vehicles, of which only 47 cars (49 in the presentation) are equipped with batteries for driving without a contact network. Most of the battery-powered trolleybuses (35 units) have autonomous travel up to 1 km. This is quite small, so the city is modernizing them by replacing alkaline-acid batteries with modern lithium-ion batteries. This allows you to increase the autonomous range to 4 km without passengers and up to 2.5 km with passengers. "We have already made 12 such units, we will continue," said the director of KP "Dniprovskyi Elektrotransport".

After the reports, the speakers answered the questions of the listeners. One of the issues concerned the installation of renewable sources at traffic lights. "A powerful traffic light object needs somewhere between 4 and 4.5 kW. And these objects are under construction, that is, there is not enough sunlight. Therefore, it is very difficult to understand the efficiency of this system. We have similar [generation] systems, most of all they are used on access roads to the city," answered Ihor Makovtsev, director of the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure of the Dnipro City Council.

You can view the speeches of speakers at the webinar and answers to questions at the link:

More information about the steps taken by the city government of Dnipro towards the energy sustainability of public transport is available in the presentation at the link: