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The role of charging technologies in upscaling the use of electric buses in public transport: experiences from demonstration projects
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2896-8841
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7123-1824
(English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Public transport is crucial for the functionality of urban systems. Electrification of public bus transport services is currently explored in various demonstration projects around the world. The aim of this paper is to discuss the main characteristics and differences between conductive and inductive charging technologies, and evaluate how charging infrastructure strategies could affect future upscaling of electric bus deployment in public transport. The focus is on the Nordic region. A survey with stakeholders involved with electric bus demonstration projects is performed for understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each solution, and identifying the main themes emerging from project implementation and upscaling. Advantages of the conductive charging include the maturity of the technology and its higher maximum charging power compared to currently available inductive alternatives. On the other hand, inductive technology entails other benefits, such as the lack of moving parts which could reduce the maintenance costs for infrastructure, as well as minimal visibility of the equipment. The main issues likely to impact the upscaling of electric bus use are related to the maturity, cost-effectiveness, compatibility, and charging efficiency of the available technologies.

Keywords [en]
charging technology; electric bus; public transport; survey; thematic analysis
National Category
Energy Systems Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-226520OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-226520DiVA, id: diva2:1198830
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencyIntegrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL)
Note

QC 20180420

Available from: 2018-04-18 Created: 2018-04-18 Last updated: 2018-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards electrified public bus transport: The case of Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards electrified public bus transport: The case of Stockholm
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses the challenge of road transport electrification using a systems approach for the particular context of Stockholm’s public transport system. The objective is to identify the benefits of large-scale bus electrification on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the cost and planning considerations required for achieving such a shift. Quantitative and qualitative methods are deployed for answering the research questions, including the development and use of an optimisation model, survey research, and interviews. 

The results of the optimisation model developed for this thesis show that an optimal system configuration is obtained with a combination of electricity and biodiesel. The high energy efficiency of electric buses would lead to a significant reduction of energy consumption in Stockholm, even if not all bus routes in the network are electrified. Although larger battery capacities could support the electrification of more bus routes, this does not necessarily lead to lower environmental impact. In any case, electricity from renewable sources should be used to maximise emission reductions. 

The results also show that the annual costs necessary to invest in electric buses can be balanced by lower fuel costs. An effective utilisation of the charging infrastructure is of high priority in order to justify the costs of the required investments. The model results confirm the benefits of creating a dense initial network of charging stations in the inner city’s public transport hubs, which would facilitate the electrification of multiple routes and high infrastructure utilisation at lower costs. 

The survey and interviews with stakeholders indicate that multiple issues affect the choice of charging technology, not just costs. Compatibility, reliability, bus dwell time, as well as weather conditions and visual impact are some of the additional aspects taken into account. The introduction of electricity tax exemption for electric buses, the expansion of the electric bus premium to include private stakeholders, as well as the expansion of infrastructure investment subsidy programmes are among the policy instruments suggested for assisting a faster introduction of electric buses into Stockholm’s public transport system. 

Although the focus is on Stockholm, the conclusions of this work can be applicable to other cities in Sweden and around the world, which also face the challenge of making public transport a more sustainable option.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 77
Series
TRITA-ECS Report ; TRITA-ECS Report 18/02
Keywords
electric bus; charging infrastructure; optimisation; public transport; fossil-free; transport planning; Sweden
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-226518 (URN)978-91-7729-742-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-16, E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencyThe Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3)Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL)
Available from: 2018-04-19 Created: 2018-04-18 Last updated: 2018-05-15Bibliographically approved

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