BOLT - Battery Optimization Lifecycle Tool

A proprietary tool developed by WSP for the analysis of heavy-duty fleet electrification and optimization. Get in touch to learn more.

Tool for Electric Vehicles

WSP’s Battery Optimization Lifecycle Tool (BOLT) helps public and private transit fleet operators map a low-emission fleet future.

BOLT can simulate a transit agency’s entire route system and create a system network Electrifiable Index (EI) that identifies the routes/scheduled blocks that can be electrified today; key potential routes for near-term conversion; and a recommended path to guide long-term transition to a zero-emission fleet.

Current studies predict strong adoption of electrification of fleets across the globe, with an estimated 50% of buses around the world to be electric by 2040.

Simulating Real-World Scenarios Using Required Infrastructure

BOLT uses actual route networks and schedules, simulating real-world scenarios to identify the required infrastructure (garage and on-route charger locations) and optimal vehicle block between different route assignments (economic and environmental factors).

Lifecyle Operating Cost Perspective

WSP’s proven multi-faceted tool evaluates numerous propulsion technologies from a lifecycle operating cost perspective, considering all the critical factors needed to simulate battery electric bus (BEB) vehicle range.

Precise Electric Vehicle Fleet Implementation Feasibility Studies

BOLT produces feasibility studies with very high accuracy, providing fleet operators with the appropriate mix of vehicle type, battery type and charger configuration required for their operation infrastructure.

Analysing Multiple Bus Models, Components and Technologies Under Multiple Conditions

Transit agencies and municipalities can simulate BEB implementation across their entire transit operation under numerous conditions, combining electrification characteristics with transit planning techniques.  

BOLT's extensive database contains the models/specifications of 25-plus BEB manufacturers, accessing hundreds of battery sizes and auxiliary components, such as heaters, air conditioning and more. Updates and additions of new bus models, components and technologies are easily made to the database.

BOLT Creates and Runs Multiple Electrification Scenarios in Minutes

The simulation process starts with BOLT’s Route System Template. Once populated with the Route System, BOLT analyzes the data and is ready to generate customizable Solution Reports (Pattern Analysis, Block Analysis, Blocks-Group) based on the parameters selected.

BOLT enables rapid, efficient and effective analyses of numerous electrification scenarios achievable in transit planning, considering a wide range of parameters and variables such as:

  • Battery size
  • Charging technology
  • Charger location
  • Number of chargers
  • Garage vs. on-route charging
  • Bus model
  • Bus manufacturer
  • Vehicle weight
  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Route geometry
  • Passenger capacity and load
  • Seasonal conditions
  • Topography
  • Time period

New scenarios can be created and run in a matter of minutes. Once the user defines a solution or set of solutions with suitable battery size and charging systems, BOLT provides an evaluation that includes both capital and lifecycle operating costs. BOLT also performs cost analyses to identify the cost impact compared to existing diesel or CNG buses.

BOLT has been implemented at client transit agencies around the globe, allowing these agencies to make decisions easily and effectively. In recent demonstrations, clients have seen how they can electrify up to 85% of their network using today’s BEB technologies.

BOLT analysis helps identify key issues with fleet electrification and addresses questions surrounding fleet optimization of operations, such as how to electrify to reduce Green House Gas emissions without jeopardizing fleet operation and current vehicle range.

BOLT allows private fleets to compare bus manufacturer and battery size in one tested, unbiased (OEM or technology neutral) and validated methodology for range and route optimization.

BOLT in action

WSP’s proprietary tool has been implemented at seven client agencies—Calgary Transit, Halifax Transit, London Transit, Los Angeles Metro, King County Metro Transit and MassDOT—and in Lima, Peru.


BOLT helps public and private transit heavy-duty fleet operators explore range anxiety across multiple operating conditions and variables.

BOLT determines vehicle energy usage on a per kilometer (km) basis and tracks battery state of charge as a function of vehicle characteristics (vehicle weight and passenger load), accounting for parasitic loads, HVAC and external conditions, including route topography and seasonal weather conditions. See figure below, Factors That Determine Energy Use


grf-factors-that-determine-energy-use (1)


BOLT’s database includes bus manufacturer vehicle specifications, and data on particular electric drivetrain and HVAC system battery consumption. Moreover, operating conditions such as external temperature, weather, passenger load, time period and geographic typography (elevation) are mapped into the BOLT algorithm to assess the impact on Kw/h per kilometer.

BOLT can be used to determine if an electric vehicle will be able to successfully complete a defined route or block (daily group of routes/bus trips assigned to a vehicle), or if on-route charging is required.

BOLT can introduce on-route charging locations into the simulation to gauge improvement on the system network EI, the percentage of transit routes analyzed that can be successfully completed with the electric vehicle.

The Pattern Analysis Report simulates electric bus usage for specific pattern, bus, battery and other parameters as report in EU units/US units.

BOLT presents battery state of charge for each individual route pattern, depending on season, time period and ridership characteristics—per stop and per total route:

The Block Analysis Report simulates electric bus usage for specific block, bus, battery and other parameters in EU units/US units. Chargers are used to calculate energy balance for the specific bus block. The report contains the table and battery usage diagram.

BOLT calculates the battery state of charge for each individual bus block (daily bus trips) per bus trip and total block, according to season, time period and ridership characteristics:


Multiple blocks can be selected to produce a Block-Group Report.

BOLT also provides the EI output for percent of blocks or daily operation that can be electrified using a select group of vehicles and battery sizes. Using BOLT, fleet operators can explore battery sizes, charger types and charging policies to improve the electrification of their operations.

Additionally, BOLT shows the status of passenger load factors for each bus type, restricting usage of small-capacity buses for certain routes based on ridership characteristics.

BOLT’s database includes multiple charger specifications and power transfer speed parameters, which can monitor progress along routes, depots (bus garage) or major terminals via wireless network to ensure power is transferred into the vehicle during layover or end-of-day charging.

bolt 4 graphs

BOLT currently captures data from 25 e-bus manufacturers in Europe, North America, Asia and South America.

Continual updates ensure the timely addition of all market entries and new technologies introduced by these manufacturers.

WSP is now working on how to optimize e-bus block cutting and charger locations to minimize energy consumption while respecting infrastructure and scheduling regulations. Cost of energy by day types and time periods are among the considerations.