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The Institute for Transport Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is developing a model which illustrates the effects of electric vehicles on city traffic.
© KIT
Electric cars in cities
11.02.2013

The infrastructure of electric vehicles and charging stations will also be included in the KIT traffic model.
© KIT

Traffic model includes electric cars

How will electromobility influence traffic in the future? The Institute for Transport Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is developing a model designed to illustrate the effects of electromobility on road traffic. A particular focus is on the mobility behaviour of people using electric cars.

In the “eVerkehrsraum Stuttgart” project the Institute for Transport Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is studying a model demonstrating how electric vehicles can be integrated into mobility and traffic concepts in the future. The effects of mobility behaviour of people using electric vehicles will be taken particularly into account. The infrastructure of electric cars, including their charging stations, will also be studied.

The city of Stuttgart and its five adjacent districts of Böblingen, Esslingen, Göppingen, Ludwigsburg and Rems-Murr were selected due to their high population density. On site, the KIT scientists are studying the effects on traffic loads of electric vehicles. A software aims to support the future planning of electromobility offers. “We are extending existing traffic models which have so far simulated peoples’ traffic behaviours and the resulting traffic loads without electromobility,” explains Dr. Martin Kagerbauer, project manager at the Institute for Transport Studies (IfV) at the KIT. Movement profiles of electric fleets and the infrastructure of charging stations will be integrated into the simulation from other projects of the “Electric mobility showcases” funding programme.

The traffic behaviour data will be gathered by the KIT team during surveys which relate solely to routes actually travelled. Sample users will be asked who had already had experience with electric cars in other showcase projects. “We hope that we will be able to recruit enough people,” says Kagerbauer. The results of the survey will then be evaluated and incorporated into the software.

Software calculates traffic behaviour

The methodical basis of the simulation is the so-called microscopic multi-agent simulation, or “mobiTopp”. The traffic behaviour of all people living in the Stuttgart region will be illustrated over one week. Individual mobility patterns and behaviourchanges of users will be visible. “The individual journeys are important because traffic behaviour will in future be even more variable and differentiated,” says Kagerbauer, adding: “People are increasingly using a range of different transport means in their daily mobility, whether within one route or on different routes. This differentiated use of transport means will increase further due to electromobility.”

The German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development has been supporting the project since the start of 2013. The project will run for three years with a budget of around 460,000 euros in the electric mobility showcase. The model will then be transferred to other cities in Germany. Around 120 partners have come together in 41 individual projects to create the “LivingLab BWe mobil”. The entire project volume is 153 million euros. The forecast is that by the end of 2015, over 3,100 electric vehicles will be in use in the Stuttgart region.

Electric mobility showcases – support from four ministries

Four demonstration and pilot projects are being supported by four ministries in so-called showcases: “LivingLab BWe mobil” (Baden-Württemberg), “Internationales Schaufenster der Elektromobilität” (International electric mobility showcase project, Berlin/Brandenburg), “Unsere Pferdestärken werden elektrisch” (Our horsepower is going electric, Lower Saxony) and “Elektromobilität verbindet” (Electric mobility links, Bavaria/Saxony). The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development are each investing 67 million euros in the electric mobility showcase. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment is providing 25 million euros in investment and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research 20 million.

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Traffic model
KIT-IfV