Increasing urban tram system efficiency, with battery storage and electric vehicle charging

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - tram/light rail, mode - park and ride, technology - emissions, technology - alternative fuels, technology - geographic information systems, infrastructure - station, planning - service improvement


Energy storage, Urban trams, Electric vehicle charging, Electric vehicles


This paper examines the possible placement of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) on an urban tram system for the purpose of exploring potential increases in operating efficiency through the examination of different locations for battery energy storage. Further, the paper suggests the utilisation of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries at existing Park and Ride (P&R) sites as a means of achieving additional energy storage at these locations. The study achieves this through MATLAB modelling utilising captured GPS data and publically available information. This study examines the scenario of uni-directional substations with no interconnection between the overhead catenary for both directions of travel, and discusses the trade-offs between ESS size and required current limits.

The results show the savings in both energy and basic CO2 emissions alongside the discussion of Return on Investment (RoI) that can be achieved through the potential installation of ESS at identified ideal locations along the tram network. Moreover, this may be extended to the use of EVs as stationary ESS sited at the existing P&R facilities. Further, the model may also be used to inform future infrastructure upgrades and potential improvements to air quality within urban environments.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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