What can we learn from charging infrastructure collaboration at the Amsterdam Central Station?

Is it possible for flexible applications of infrastructure to help cope with the demand for space? In a new paper, researchers tried to answer how different forms of flexibility can impact the societal costs of infrastructure development on passenger transport hubs.

The value is used to determine these impacts for an explorative research option. This research examined the charging infrastructure for electric buses at the Amsterdam Central Station (NL). It shows the challenge in setting up a collective approach towards attaining the optimal societal impact due to limited knowledge of the potential of flexibility, the complexity in setting up a win-win for each stakeholder based on their different interests, and the lacking ownership of the overall collective impact that can be made.

This research offers valuable insight also for city logistics, where future hubs will be all about sharing. Sharing people, sharing capacities, sharing data, and sharing energy. The governance of these hubs is crucial for successful collaboration.

The overarching connection between infrastructure and forms of flexibility, as shown in this paper, is not covered by the sum of the single pieces of the used existing literature. Ironically, it indicates fragmentation in the existing body of literature towards flexibility. Furthermore, it shows the limited current knowledge on flexibility for passenger transport hubs and creates additional organizational ability to develop flexibility in infrastructure development and use.

This paper clarifies that how we have organized our (transport and energy) infrastructure does not fit our current and future needs. We will do it ourselves short if we keep typing it in this traditional way. Therefore, the organizing ability for flexibility is a promising focus area to start making better use of our infrastructure.

Source: Pennings R, Wiegmans B, Spit T. Are We Missing the Bus? A Case Study on Flexibility Options for Charging Infrastructure at the Amsterdam Central Station. Infrastructures. 2023; 8(3):47. https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8030047

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