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Enel X and Optibus: A partnership that’s committed to zero-emission fleets

Enel X and Optibus: A partnership that’s committed to zero-emission fleets

Enel X is collaborating with global AI software platform Optibus in order to optimize and manage public transport vehicle fleets. This is part of its plan for the electrification and decarbonization of cities.


Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, London and New York. Imagine standing in the middle of one of these densely populated cities, surrounded by electric vehicles, buses and charging stations on every street. It almost seems like a dream, doesn’t it? Enel X is striving to make this electrified future a reality that is not so far away.

According to a survey by KPMG of over 1,000 company executives, the world can expect 52% of new vehicle sales to be all-electric by 2030. Although this number is being debated, improving the quality of life in cities through a more sustainable approach has become the compass that Enel X follows through its collaborations and worldwide projects.

One of the latest co-creation projects by the Enel X business line comes from its collaboration with the artificial intelligence (AI) software platform, Optibus. Together with the startup, we have been able to develop an end-to-end solution which optimizes the scheduling and charging times for electric buses that provide public transportation in cities.


Revolutionizing public transport

The Israeli startup Optibus, which was founded in 2014, is a cloud-native solution powered by AI and advanced optimization algorithms. It provides an end-to-end user interface to help the world’s leading transportation providers deliver better service for passengers and increase driver satisfaction – all while lowering operational costs. How? Optibus models transit networks at the most granular level, generating quality transit schedules through data-driven planning.



“I think bus electrification will go full steam ahead over the next 10 or 15 years, transitioning most of the world to 100 per cent zero- emissions fleets.”


Amos Haggiag, CEO and Co-founder of Optibus


One of the greatest challenges that smart cities face is the operation of electric buses. Optibus’s CEO and co-founder Amos Haggiag notes that “rolling out electric buses is far more complicated than simply replacing a diesel bus with an electric one. You need to charge the vehicle effectively and ensure that chargers are located in the best places along the route.” By combining Enel X’s physical charging infrastructure and electric bus fleets with this software solution, the schedule optimization process has been streamlined throughout cities to make these vehicles run more efficiently.

“Our algorithms help customers make complicated decisions, like what percentage to charge and how to combine diesel and electric buses on the same routes,” says Haggiag. These data-driven insights can ensure the success of the implementation of e-buses in many cities. Valerio Vadacchino, Head of eBus Global e-City at Enel X, confirms that “electrifying cities is not just about replacing a vehicle: you need new infrastructure, and you need to manage the fleet in an optimized way.”


More than just another 2030 goal

Decarbonization is the key to fighting climate change and electrification is fundamental to winning this battle. What was once considered impossible is slowly but surely becoming a reality. “Within four or five years it will be possible to completely decarbonize cities with thousands of completely electric buses,” says Haggiag.

“The public transportation system is the backbone of any city,” adds Vadacchino, who goes on to say: “When you think about pushing the electrification of mobility, the public transport fleet can also serve as a framework, a benchmark and an incentive for citizens.”



As we move forward to running cities on energy that is entirely produced from renewables and completely free from CO2 emissions, we hear many governments striving to make this a worldwide reality by 2030. “On paper, that’s great, but it's not enough because we also need action,” says Vadacchino. The truth is that policy-makers need to move quickly, and public institutions need to encourage public-private partnerships in which private companies like Enel X, for example, can support public transport operators right from the start.

With a clear goal in mind, Optibus’s holistic solution, combined with Enel X’s infrastructure and energy services, can make transportation network modelling and optimization capabilities available to a wider network of bus operators.


A smarter futuristic city

Haggiag thinks that “bus electrification is going to go full steam ahead in the next 10 or 15 years, transitioning most of the world to 100 per cent zero- emissions. Although the way people move through cities has shifted radically due to the pandemic and remote work, as a community we must still be aware of the importance of creating greener and more sustainable environments for the future of the world.”

Enel X’s Ebus-as-a-Service (EaaS) model provides financing, smart charging, and energy services to over 1,300 electric buses in Latin America, as well as to around 500 electric buses in Spain and the USA. As we continue to expand, we need to ensure these projects are carried out properly. Optibus has proven to be a pioneer in transforming the transportation industry and, thanks to its efforts, fully electrified cities are no longer just a dream.