Lifecycle costs and charging requirements of electric buses with different charging methods

Antti Lajunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Electric city buses and high power charging systems have been rapidly developed in recent years. Battery electric buses are energy efficient and emission free but due to the expensive technology, lifecycle costs can be much higher in comparison to diesel or hybrid buses. This research presents a lifecycle cost analysis for a fleet operation of electric city buses in different operating routes. The objective is to define charging power and battery requirements as well as energy consumption and lifecycle costs. A specific simulation tool was developed to comprehensively evaluate electric buses in different operating conditions. The tool allows to systematically generate and simulate different operating scenarios with a chosen bus configuration, charging method and operating route. Based on the simulation results and predefined cost parameters, lifecycle costs are calculated for each operating scenario. The considered charging methods include overnight, end station and opportunity charging. Simulation results are presented for four operating routes which were measured from existing bus lines in Finland and California, USA. The results show that high energy capacity of the battery system is crucial for the overnight charging buses to achieve adequate daily operation whereas the battery size has a minor impact on the energy consumption and lifecycle costs of the fast charging buses. The lifecycle costs of electric buses are heavily impacted by capital costs including purchase costs of the buses and charging devices. When considering 12 years of service life, the end station charging electric buses can have slightly lower lifecycle costs than diesel buses but on average they have 7% higher lifecycle costs. The overnight charging buses have on average 26% and opportunity charging buses 35% higher lifecycle costs than diesel buses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Charging power
  • Electric bus
  • Energy consumption
  • Lifecycle costs
  • Route simulation

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