CO2-Neutral Air Conditioning for Electric Busses



In Germany, buses used in local public transport are gradually being electrified, primarily in order to reduce their impact on the environment (emission zones, noise, climate protection). The question of how to air-condition battery-powered buses is still unanswered and poses a key problem which significantly obstructs a wider use of electric mobility in local public transport.

Aims of the project

The project aims to create an immediately functional foundation for local CO2-free air conditioning in electric busses based on sorption technology without relying on the bus’s limited traction energy supply.

This project is a synergetic, interdisciplinary cooperation of project partners from materials science, constructive sorption technology, the conception of electromobile commercial vehicles, and transport network planning, all of whom work together on this multi-scale problem in order to develop an application-oriented concept which will then be pushed experimentally until it allows for publications in this sector and third-party funds can be raised.


Project contents and structure

For this project, the Institute of Urban and Transport Planning focuses on assessing the potential of using electric buses in public transport, taking into account technical constraints, operational and transport-related circumstances as well as the adaptability of networks.

The conventional drive system of busses using internal combustion engines doesn’t necessitate consideration of available energy supplies and recharging stations when structuring public transport networks. These networks have therefore been designed only according to urban structures, i.e. according to the distribution and density of building and residential areas and the desired level of infrastructure.

When increasing the use of electric buses, technical restrictions and the resulting limits of possible network structures lead to a conflict between technical necessity and user acceptance because in the current state of knowledge, electric busses cannot go without recharging for an entire workday.

In order to assess the potential of electric bus use, the Institute of Urban and Transport Planning will identify and analyse the criteria used today when planning networks and routes for public transport by examining bus schedules of several cities. The results will be used to deduce acceptable charging times and locations. In a joint assessment the project partners will compare and rank the criteria they have identified by hierarchy. This will be the basis for a shift in local network planning. Finally, the development of electro-optimized network structures and strategies will be tested with simulations to see its impact on demand.


Boost Fund Project, RWTH Aachen University

With Boost Fund, RWTH Aachen University supports projects for interdisciplinary research fields that have not yet been established. This sponsorship allows researchers to develop new fields for two to three years until third-party funds can be raised.

Project duration

07/2013 – 07/2015

Project partners

Contact at the ISB