Tampere University of Technology

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Feasibility of electric buses in public transport

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEVS28 28th International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2015
Publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventInternational Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceInternational Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition
Period1/01/00 → …


This study examines the economic feasibility of electric buses in a mid-sized city, where public transport is currently organized with buses only. The difference in lifetime cost of electric buses and diesel buses was calculated with the chosen parameters that were selected after careful background analysis. A viable business case can be created when the battery and the charging infrastructure are selected shrewdly. The electricity is much cheaper fuel than diesel but with the current battery technologies and battery prices the significant cost from operating an e-bus comes from the wear of the battery. Two types of Li-ion batteries were compared, LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) and LTO (Lithium Titanate). Also different conductive opportunity charging strategies were examined: 1. Charging at the depot. 2. Charging at the end stop(s). 3.
Charging at the line stops.
The round trip line length assessed was 20 km. Calculations show that the LTO buses and a fast charger at the end stop complemented with low power overnight chargers at the depot is the best investment combination based on the given assumptions. The 200 kW charging power is sufficient to ensure the charging in the normal end stop breaks. Due to a longer cycle life the wear cost per km was lower for LTO than for LFP. LTO is also better adapted for fast charging. The battery size has to be sufficient compared to the required driving range during peak consumption, to the charging current and to the performance requirements of the e-bus. Oversizing the battery has some positive effects (improved cycle life, less heating and better flexibility) but the negative effects were estimated to be more significant (higher investment cost, increased weight and space requirement).

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