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Towards sustainable personal mobility with electric cars and buses
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (SustainTrans)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8314-7504
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to explore if, and then how, electric cars and buses can contribute to sustainable personal mobility. Electric vehicles have increasingly been seen as a potential sustainable solution for the transport sector due to their high energy efficiency, close to zero emissions in the use phase, and the possibility to be powered by electricity from renewable resources. However, there are concerns about future scarcity of resources (e.g. lithium and cobalt for batteries), vehicle range, costs, high energy use in the production of batteries, as well as insufficient scientific support for how electric vehicles could be a part of a transition towards sustainability regarding personal mobility.  

The challenges for a fast transition towards sustainability are large and many. The transport sector is not contributing to such development, mainly due to emissions, use of fossil energy, and use of materials mined and recycled under unacceptable conditions. Furthermore, existing societal goals (e.g. fossil-fuel independent vehicle fleet by 2030 in Sweden, UN Agenda 2030, and the Paris agreement) are insufficient for sustainability and are not complemented by concrete plans or an approach for how to engage stakeholders and achieve coordinated actions for sustainability. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development includes a principled definition of sustainability that is necessary and sufficient for sustainability and procedural support for collaborative innovation for a strategic transition to fulfillment of that definition, which is why it has been used as an overarching methodology in this thesis. 

The research verified through several studies conditions for how electric vehicles can play a vital role in a strategic transition of personal mobility towards sustainability. Through stakeholder collaboration (e.g. interviews and workshops), a vision for sustainable transport with a focus on electric vehicles and an initial development plan towards that vision were designed. Several life cycle focused studies investigated (through calculations and data collection from literature, life cycle databases, interviews and workshops) about environmental and social impacts and costs for electric cars and buses. The stakeholder collaboration, combined with conceptual modelling, also resulted in models for generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration and planning for strategic sustainable development of transport systems and communities, and for how to include electric buses in the procurement model of public transport.

The strategic sustainable development perspective of this thesis broadens the analysis beyond the more common focus on climate change issues and should be able to reduce the risk of sub-optimizations in community and transport system development when applied in that context. The generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration could potentially also promote a more participatory democratic approach to community development, grounded in a scientific foundation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Institute of Technology , 2018. , p. 177
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 2018:08
Keywords [en]
Strategic Sustainable Development, Transport Planning, Electric Vehicles, Testing, LCA, Mobility
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-16965ISBN: 978-91-7295-356-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-16965DiVA, id: diva2:1245625
Public defence
2018-10-18, J1650, Blekinge Institute of technology, Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Contact the author to receive a pdf of the full thesis (papers included): sven.boren@bth.se or telephone +46455385723.

Available from: 2018-09-06 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2018-10-12Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 1: attempting a generic community planning process model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 1: attempting a generic community planning process model
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 53-61Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles seem to offer a great potential for sustainable transport development. The Swedish pioneer project GreenCharge Southeast is designed as a cooperative action research approach that aims to explore a roadmap for a fossil-free transport system by 2030 with a focus on electric vehicles. It is the following combination of objectives that puts demand on a new process model adapted for cross-sector and cross-disciplinary cooperation: (i) a fossil-free transport system in Sweden by 2030 and, to avoid sub-optimizations in the transport sector, (ii) assuring that solutions that support (i) also serve other aspects of sustainability in the transport sector and, to avoid that sustainable solutions in the transport sector block sustainable solutions in other sectors, (iii) assuring cohesive creativity across sectors and groups of experts and stakeholders. The new process model was applied in an action-research mode for the exploration of electric vehicles within a fully sustainable transport system to test the functionality of the model in support of its development. To deliver on the above combination of objectives, a framework was needed with principles for sustainability that are universal for any sector as boundary conditions for redesign, and with guidelines for how any organization or sector can create economically feasible step- by-step transition plans. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is designed to serve such purposes and therefore is embedded into the new process model. The exploration of this new model also helped to identify four interdependent planning perspectives (‘Resource base’, ‘Spatial’, ‘Technical’ and ‘Governance’) that should be represented by the respective experts and stakeholders using the model. In general, the new process model proved helpful by giving diverse stakeholders with various competences and representing various planning perspectives a common, robust, and easy-to- understand goal and a way of working that was adequate for each of their contexts. Furthermore, the evolving process model likely is relevant and useful not only for transport planning and electric vehicles, but for any other societal sector as well and thus for sustainable community planning in general. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Sustainability, Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, FSSD, Traffic, Transport, Strategic planning
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11713 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.054 (DOI)000388775100006 ()
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2018-09-05Bibliographically approved
2. Competitiveness and Sustainability Effects of Cars and their Business Models in Swedish Small Town Regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Competitiveness and Sustainability Effects of Cars and their Business Models in Swedish Small Town Regions
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 333-348Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to develop and test a new approach for comparing sustainability effects (mainly approximated through CO2 emissions) and the total cost of ownership of various business models (Regular Purchasing, Car Pooling, Car Leasing, and Taxiing) applied to private cars with different energy carriers (Biogas, Ethanol, Gasoline, Plug-in Hybrid, and Electric). The results indicate that, out of all of the vehicles, electric vehicles are the most competitive—from both an ecological and economic perspective. Moreover, of all of the business models, Car Pooling is the most competitive when driving short to medium distances, reducing CO2 emissions by 20-40% compared with Regular Purchasing. Meanwhile, Car Leasing emits the same amount of CO2 emissions as Regular Purchasing if both are driven the same number of kilometers per year. The results also indicate that, from a cost effectiveness perspective, people who travel less than 2000 km per year should primarily consider using Taxis or similar services, while Car Pooling is most cost effective for those who travel from 2000 to 8500 km. For those who travel between 8500 and 13500 km per year, Car Leasing is the most cost effective, and Regular Purchasing is the best option above 13500 km per year. If most car owners were to accept and adapt to this identified need for a market move towards Car Pooling with Electric Vehicles, necessary transportation could be ensured while significantly reducing the number of cars on the road, whether from Regular Purchasing or Car Leasing, as well as those that run on fossil fuel. This, in turn, would result in less fossil fuel use, fewer emissions, and decreased negative effects on human health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Business modeling; Sustainable transport, Total Cost of Ownership, Electric car, Fossil-fueled car, Life cycle costing
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11835 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.045 (DOI)000388775100031 ()
Available from: 2016-04-24 Created: 2016-04-24 Last updated: 2018-09-05Bibliographically approved
3. A Strategic Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis of Electric Vehicles in EU today and by 2050
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Strategic Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis of Electric Vehicles in EU today and by 2050
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of ICSUTE 2016, 2016, Vol. 10, p. 229-237Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Ambitions within the EU for moving towards sustainable transport include major emission reductions for fossil fuel road vehicles, especially for buses, trucks, and cars. The electric driveline seems to be an attractive solution for such development. This study first applied the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development to compare sustainability effects of today’s fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles that have batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. The study then addressed a scenario were electric vehicles might be in majority in Europe by 2050. The methodology called Strategic Lifecycle Assessment was first used, were each life cycle phase was assessed for violations against sustainability principles. This indicates where further analysis could be done in order to quantify the magnitude of each violation, and later to create alternative strategies and actions that lead towards sustainability. A Life Cycle Assessment of combustion engine cars, plug-in hybrid cars, battery electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars was then conducted to compare and quantify environmental impacts. The authors found major violations of sustainability principles like use of fossil fuels, which contribute to the increase of emission related impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion, and particulate matters. Other violations were found, such as use of scarce materials for batteries and fuel cells, and also for most life cycle phases for all vehicles when using fossil fuel vehicles for mining, production and transport. Still, the studied current battery and hydrogen fuel cell cars have less severe violations than fossil fuel cars. The life cycle assessment revealed that fossil fuel cars have overall considerably higher environmental impacts compared to electric cars as long as the latter are powered by renewable electricity. By 2050, there will likely be even more sustainable alternatives than the studied electric vehicles when the EU electricity mix mainly should stem from renewable sources, batteries should be recycled, fuel cells should be a mature technology for use in vehicles (containing no scarce materials), and electric drivelines should have replaced combustion engines in other sectors. An uncertainty for fuel cells in 2050 is whether the production of hydrogen will have had time to switch to renewable resources. If so, that would contribute even more to a sustainable development. Except for being adopted in the GreenCharge roadmap, the authors suggest that the results can contribute to planning in the upcoming decades for a sustainable increase of EVs in Europe, and potentially serve as an inspiration for other smaller or larger regions. Further studies could map the environmental effects in LCA further, and include other road vehicles to get a more precise perception of how much they could affect sustainable development.

Series
International Journal of Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering, ISSN 2010-3778 ; 3
Keywords
Strategic, electric vehicles, fuel cell, LCA, sustainability
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11711 (URN)
Conference
The 18th International Conference on Sustainable Urban Transport and Environment (ICSUTE), Madrid, Spain, March 24-25, 2016
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2018-09-05Bibliographically approved
4. A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 2: the case of a vision for electric vehicle systems in Southeast Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 2: the case of a vision for electric vehicle systems in Southeast Sweden
Show others...
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 62-71Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles seem to offer a great potential for sustainable transport development. The Swedish pioneer project GreenCharge Southeast is designed as a cooperative action research approach that aims to explore a roadmap for a fossil-free transport system by 2030 with a focus on electric vehicles. In the first paper of this tandem publication, the authors propose a new generic process model embedding the Framework of Strategic Sustainable Development. The purpose of applying it in an action-research mode as described in this paper was twofold: (i) to develop a vision for sustainable regional transport and a coarse roadmap towards that vision, and, while doing so, (ii) get additional empirical experiences to inform the development of the new generic process model. Experts from many sectors and organizations involved in the GreenCharge project provided vital information and reviewed all planning perspectives presented in Paper 1 in two sequential multi-stakeholder seminars. The results include a sustainable vision for electric vehicle systems in southeast Sweden within a sustainable regional transport system within a sustainable global society, as well as an initial development plan towards such a vision for the transport sector. The vision is framed by the universal sustainability principles, and the development plan is informed by the strategic guidelines, of the above-mentioned framework. Among other things, the vision and plan imply a shift to renewable energy and a more optimized use of areas and thus a new type of spatial planning. For example, the vision and plan implies a lower built-in demand for transport, more integrated traffic modes, and more multi-functional use of areas for energy and transport infrastructures, for example. Some inherent benefits of electric vehicles are highlighted in the vision and plan, including near-zero local emissions and flexibility as regards primary energy sources. The vision and plan also imply improved governance for more effective cross-sector collaboration to ensure coor- dinated development within the transport sector and between the transportation sector and other relevant sectors. Meanwhile, the new generic process model was refined and is ready to be applied and further tested in the GreenCharge project and in other projects within the transport sector as well as other sectors. The study confirmed that the new generic process model suggested in support of sus- tainable transport system and community development is helpful for giving diverse stakeholders, with various specialties and perspectives, a way of working that is goal-oriented and builds on effective, iterative learning loops and co-creation. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Sustainability, Cross-sector, Traffic, Electric vehicles, Strategic planning, Vision
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11714 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.055 (DOI)000388775100007 ()
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2018-09-05Bibliographically approved
5. Stakeholder collaboration models for public transport procurement of electric bus systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stakeholder collaboration models for public transport procurement of electric bus systems
2018 (English)In: The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practise, ISSN 2325-1166Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Earlier studies have mainly focused on technology, economy and advantages of electric buses, and they have largely shown that electric buses could be one of the solutions for sustainable public transport. Despite this, the present procurement process for public transport in Sweden is not suitable for including support systems for electric buses. This study was aimed to find a stakeholder collaboration model that would allow electric bus systems to be more effectively included in the procurement process for public transport. The results were achieved by several multi-stakeholder collaboration seminars and meetings that included representatives from regional public transport authorities, bus operators, bus manufacturers, energy companies, municipalities, and experts involved in bus transport. The study primarily developed two stakeholder collaboration models, suggesting that charging infrastructure should be designed separately from the common procurement process. In these models, energy companies, electric grid owners, charging infrastructure operators, regional public transport authorities, and municipalities need to collaborate. The first model is designed for a system that includes chargers at certain locations along a route and/or stakeholders with a low level of experience of electric bus systems, while the second is designed for a system that includes bus charging at the depot and/or stakeholders with a high level of experience of electric bus systems.

Keywords
Electric bus, Stakeholder, Collaboration, Bus procurement, Strategic sustainable development, Charging
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-16969 (URN)
Conference
On Sustainability, Cairns, Australia, January 2018
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 41411-1
Available from: 2018-09-05 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2018-10-03Bibliographically approved
6. Electric buses' sustainability effects, noise, energy use, and costs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Electric buses' sustainability effects, noise, energy use, and costs
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, ISSN 1556-8318, E-ISSN 1556-8334Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Electric buses are growing in numbers in Sweden, which contributes to the development of a fossil fuel free society and a reduction of emissions. Earlier studies of bus systems have identified a need to further investigate societal costs, total cost of ownership, energy use on a yearly basis to account for seasonal variations, and noise during acceleration. Addressing those needs was the purpose of this study. 

Investigations were made in five cities in Sweden that have recently implemented different electric buses in their respective public transport system. Based on results from these investigations and earlier studies, updated and new calculations were made for electric buses on route 1 in Karlskrona, as a representative example. It was found that there were significant savings in societal costs and total cost of ownership when compared to diesel and biogas powered buses, mainly due to decreased noise, no emissions in the use phase, and decreased energy use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
Keywords
Electric bus, total cost of ownership, societal cost, sustainability, noise, life cycle
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-16968 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 41411-1
Available from: 2018-09-05 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2018-10-03Bibliographically approved

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