Electric busses are not only economically beneficial, as they do not have any local emission, but due to their longer lifespan and lower operational costs, they can also be financially beneficial. The electric bus system is a public transportation system that is operated by electric buses only. As every public transportation system, it can include ticketing, information of customers and a monitoring system.
Additionally, facilities to charge the electric buses are mandatory. Due to the charging process, a management system for operation and planning of range as well as route optimisation is even more important than it is with conventional bus systems. (see also SCIS)
The main goal of the Electric Bus Sytem is to reduce the local air congestion within cities. Besides that, the solution achieves the benefits listed below. Whereas some benefits are likely to be fulfiled with a basic implementation of the solution, the fulfilment of the potential benefits depends on the functions implemented in a specific project.
Reducing use of fossils
Promoting sustainable behavior
Reducing use of fossils
Functions help you to understand what the products can do for you and which ones will help you achieve your goals.
Each solution has at least one mandatory function, which is needed to achieve the basic purpose of the solution, and several additional functions, which are features that can be added to provide additional benefits.
High investment costs of electric buses in comparison to conventional (diesel) busses can be balanced with lower operational costs and longer lifespans. Some operators produce their own regenerative energy for the buses. The profitability of e-buses will increase as soon as there are stricter emission regulations or even diesel bans in urban areas. Restrictions are expected to be introduced in various European cities within the next few years.
The graph shows the profitability of the operation of electric buses in comparison to other buses over a lifetime of ten years. The data is obtained out of manufacturer specifications from Proterra, who - as of March 2017 - is one of three e-bus manufacturers providing buses on large scale. According to this calculation, electric buses are cheaper despite higher investment costs, since costs for fuel and maintenance are much lower compared to traditional buses.
This calculation does not include the infrastructure of charging stations needed.
Most e-buses which are currently in operation are supported by local governments as a part of a pilot project. The German government, for example, plans to support the market penetration of e-buses with up to 40 % of the investment costs, especially for SMEs. In 2018 the purchase of 250 e-buses with 50 million Euro is planned. For the following years, this number is planned to increase to 500 e-buses with 100 million Euro. (electrive.net, 2017)
A public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which can be used by the electric buses, simplifies the implementation of this solution. Besides this, it is recommended to invest in sustainable and local energy generation to reduce energy costs and increase the impact of the electric bus system.
In general, regulations on emissions are introduced in the sector of buses first, before introducing the regulations for cars. Therefore, a diesel ban in urban areas is expected to be introduced for buses first. The current regulation on emissions of buses is defined in the VO(EG) 595/2009 and the UN-R49 regulation. (European Parliament, 2009)
- 2007/46/EG: Regulations on busses in general
- RL 2001/85/EG and UN-R66: Security Regulations for Buses
- UN-R100: Security Regulation for electric vehicles
(European Parliament, 2009)
CNG powered buses in the city of Tartu
With the aim of having 100% of public transportation buses in Tartu run on gas by 2019, the municipality has purchased 60 new biogas busses for the public transportation network.
Introduction of electric public transport
The City of Turku has introduced new electric buses in the public transport fleet to reach the goal of becoming CO2 neutral by 2029.
Electric and hybrid electric buses for public transport
At least six new electric buses were introduced to Madrid’s existing bus fleet and being tested in real-life conditions in the city’s living lab. The main goal is to use a clean bus fleet in areas which lack high-quality public transport service.