City Bus Powertrain Comparison: Driving Cycle Variation and Passenger Load Sensitivity Analysis

Klaus Kivekäs*, Antti Lajunen, Jari Vepsäläinen, Kari Tammi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
505 Downloads (Pure)


Alternative powertrains are rapidly increasing in popularity in city buses. Hence, it is vitally important to understand the factors affecting the performance of the powertrains in order to operate them on appropriate routes and as efficiently as possible. To that end, this paper presents an exhaustive driving cycle and passenger load sensitivity analysis for the most common city bus powertrain topologies. Three-thousand synthetic cycles were generated for a typical suburban bus route based on measured cycles and passenger numbers from the route. The cycles were simulated with six bus models: compressed natural gas, diesel, parallel hybrid, series hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell hybrid, and battery electric bus. Twenty reference cycles featuring various types of routes were simulated for comparison. Correlations between energy consumption and the various driving cycle parameters and passenger loads were examined. Further analysis was conducted with variance decomposition. Aggressiveness and stop frequency had the highest correlation with the consumption. The diesel bus was the most sensitive to aggressiveness. The parallel hybrid had a lower statistical dispersion of consumption than the series hybrid on the suburban route. On the varied routes, the opposite was true. The performance of the parallel hybrid powertrain deteriorated significantly on cycles with high aggressiveness and stop frequency. In general, the high correlation between aggressiveness and energy consumption implies that particular attention must be paid to limiting high-speed accelerations of city buses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1755
Number of pages26
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • city bus
  • powertrain
  • driving cycle
  • passenger load
  • energy consumption


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