Working Paper

Strategies for deploying zero-emission bus fleets: Route-level energy consumption and driving range analysis

Zero-emission vehicles

This is the second paper in a series describing the development of tools and methods to perform route-level analysis of electric bus operations. The broad goal is to support transitions to zero-emission bus fleets and identify the least-cost approaches for widespread procurement and deployment of these technologies. This is important because there are unique operational considerations with respect to charging strategies and the driving range of battery electric buses that are not typically associated with conventionally powered buses.

The first paper detailed methods for using real-world operational data from existing fleets to develop representative drive cycles for individual routes. The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) served as a case study, and this second paper is also focused on BMTC. Here the authors develop methods for estimating route-specific energy consumption for electric buses using vehicle simulation software. Twenty-nine BMTC routes that are under consideration for initial electric bus deployments are evaluated, and the results demonstrate how these route-level modeling tools can be used to investigate the impacts of different parameters on electric bus energy consumption and driving range. The results in the figure below show the significant efficiency benefits estimated for electric buses compared to similar diesel options and demonstrate how passenger loading and accessory power consumption influence the energy consumption of electric buses.