a blue and white bus driving down a road.

Untapping the Potential for the Flexibility of 31 Electric Buses

875,000 people use public transportation in Amsterdam on a daily basis. The GVB ensures that all of those people reach their destination by their network of trams, subways, busses and ferries. Due to their high energy demand in the local electricity market and their public duty, the addition of flexibility in the energy markets would be a great asset to the GVB. Integration of smart charging for buses could decrease peak power consumption and could help balance the local energy markets. This is a Grid Edge Consulting project.


September 2019 – May 2020





The GVB aims to operate 31 electric buses by the year 2030, yet, this increases energy demand and an exponential increase in peak powers. Not only is this a major challenge, but it is also simultaneously an opportunity for the  GVB and energy market. Using those buses for balancing and flexibility services, new business models can be created that are financially sustainable and environmentally friendly. Furthermore, GVB was interested in its potential new role in the developing energy landscape. With its 730 grid connections, it’s one of the biggest players on the Amsterdam energy grid. Due to the electrification of many of their energy assets, providing flexibility in the market could create potential new openings and opportunities.



This is a Grid Edge Consulting project. First an inventory of opportunities for energy reduction and energy storage for the GVB fleet and buildings, including pathways to capitalization on opportunities, was created. Besides that, the GVB has expressed their desire to understand and get a hold of their energy consumption more thoroughly. To work towards a better understanding we expanded on ways to visualise (real-time) energy consumption data. Based on the initial inventory of energy reduction and storage opportunities, the flexibility prospects for electric busses were mapped. At last, an outline of a possible new role for the GVB in future energy markets is designed. This feasibility study was concluded by recommendations on potential no-regret investments.



Replacement of old boilers and smart control of buildings is opportune. Yet, the capacity of flexibility within the built assets of the GVB has shown to be insecure whether investments could be earned back. Partly since energy consumption is inflexible, as well as, the lack of quality data. However, the electric busses show high flexibility potential. By smart charging while trading on the imbalance market, charging costs could be reduced by 14%. Taking into account the reduction of peak power consumption, smart charging at Sloterdijk could reduce peak power by 30% (600 kW), making it a profitable business case. Combining this with battery storage on this location adds another 400 kW reduction, reducing the total peak power by 50%. This results in a pay-back period of 5 years for the installation of a battery in combination with smart charging infrastructure.

a row of vending machines sitting next to each other.
a blue and white bus parked on the side of the road.
a graphic of an electric bus.
a row of vending machines sitting next to each other.
a blue and white bus parked on the side of the road.
a graphic of an electric bus.

Questions? Contact us!

Geert Litjens

Energy Consultant

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