Feasibility Studies for Selecting the Right Electric Bus Technology


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We begin your feasibility study by accurately identifying the basics of your bus operation.

We begin the feasibility study to determine the electric bus technology that best fits your operation by reading and processing the operational data that comes from the mileage to be analyzed. We can analyze either the entire bus network or selected routes. The operations of the baseline determination include, for example:

  • the calculation of traction energy consumption on the line routes using accurate simulation models,
  • or determining the most demanding operating day so that the most severe conditions are used as a basis for the vehicle concepts to be studied.

We evaluate further bases for the study together with you. For this purpose, we analyze, among other things, the depots as well as the terminal stations (if opportunity loading is an option for you), which also includes an on-site inspection. We assess the extent to which infrastructure can be installed for recharging (for battery buses) or refueling (for fuel cell hybrid buses). Important criteria for this are, for example, access to the public power grid with sufficient connected load, hydrogen supply sources and the space available. Other requirements for operation with electric buses, such as a time buffer for delay compensation or a minimum reserve with regard to the range of the vehicles, are also taken into account in our feasibility study.

Exactly which vehicles we should investigate will be determined in close consultation with you. ebusplan’s approach is to use reference vehicles to map the latest market offerings, so that potential procurement measures are as independent of individual manufacturers as possible. In addition, we analyze different configurations of the electric buses (including vessel size, charging concept, and comfort features such as heating and air conditioning).

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We then find out to what extent the electrification of your bus fleet is technically possible.

After ebusplan has determined the basics, this is followed by the technical and operational analysis based on the scheduling data for all electric bus concepts. First, we analyze the technical feasibility of electrification without adjustments to the current operational planning (i.e., with unchanged rotations).

If you want to serve the entire mileage of your operation with electric buses, operational adjustments are necessary due to the currently still limited ranges. For this reason, ebusplan uses its own software tools, which are constantly being further developed, to determine an energy-based circulation plan that is tailored to electric bus concepts. In this way, we can determine not only the technical feasibility, but also the operational effects, such as the vehicle (additional) demand and the additional empty kilometers due to underground trips to the depot for recharging.

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With the help of our comprehensive cost calculation, you don’t throw money out the window.

The results of the technical and operational analysis form the basis for the calculation of the life cycle costs of electric bus operation (Total Cost of Ownership, TCO). In addition to the initial investment, we also consider ongoing costs (for operating resources, maintenance and replacement purchases). ebusplan presents the TCO as costs per vehicle kilometer in order to directly compare the vehicle concepts studied. Furthermore, in addition to the initial investment, we can also present the annual (additional) costs that your company will incur by changing over to electric buses. For the profitability analysis, the current bus fleet serves as the reference system (usually the diesel bus with Euro VI emission standard).

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Only the (environmental) benefits allow the cost figures to speak.

In general, the reference system (Euro VI diesel bus) is better off in a cost comparison than the electric bus concepts. However, a meaningful cost-benefit comparison can only be made when the environmental impacts of the vehicle types considered are included. Therefore, in the feasibility study, we determine the savings potentials of electric bus operation with respect to emissions of CO2-equivalents, nitrogen dioxides (NOx/NO2), and particulate matter.

Four investigation steps result in an electric bus recommendation.

With the help of the knowledge gained from the technical, operational, economic and ecological analysis of the electric bus concepts, ebusplan develops a technology recommendation for you. This aims to achieve a sensible fleet mix without special solutions and to be able to use the electric buses in different parts of the service area and on different routes.

Electrification of bus services has direct consequences for the depot and workshops. New requirements are coming up, including the topics of charging/tank infrastructure, network connections, workshop conversion and special tools. We also examine this and other adaptation requirements (also with regard to space) in the feasibility study.

Finally, we analyze the impact of electric bus deployment on planning processes and software tools. Relevant here is the IT infrastructure in the form of a depot management system (BMS) including a charging management system. In addition, we assess the extent to which the expansion of existing systems in operations planning and control centers to include battery bus specifics is necessary.