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Preference of Electric Buses in Public Transport: Conclusions from Real Life Testing in Eight Swedish Municipalities
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8314-7504
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of ICSUTE 2016, 2016, Vol. 10, 255-264 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

From a theoretical perspective, Electric buses can be more sustainable and can be cheaper than fossil fuelled buses in city traffic. The authors have not found other studies based on actual urban public transport in Swedish winter climate. Further on, noise measurements from buses for the European market where found old. The aims of this follow-up study was therefore to test and possibly verify in a real-life environment how energy efficient and silent electric buses are, and then conclude on if electric buses are preferable to use in public transport. The Ebusco 2.0 electric bus, fitted with a 311 kWh battery pack, was used and the tests carried out during November 2014 to April 2015 in eight municipalities in the south of Sweden. Six tests took place in urban traffic and two took place in more of a rural traffic setting. The energy use for propulsion was measured via logging of the internal system in the bus and via an external charging meter. The average energy use turned out to be 8 % less (0,96 kWh/km) than assumed in the earlier theoretical study. This rate allows for a 320 km range in public urban traffic. The interior of the bus was kept warm by a diesel heater (biodiesel will probably be used in a future operational traffic situation), which used 0,67 kWh/km in January. This verified that electric buses can be up to 25% cheaper when used in public transport in cities for about eight years. The noise was found to be lower, primarily during acceleration, than for buses with combustion engines in urban bus traffic. According to our surveys, most passengers and drivers appreciated the silent and comfortable ride and preferred electric buses rather than combustion engine buses. Bus operators and passenger transport executives were also positive to start using electric buses for public transport. The operators did however point out that procurement processes need to account for eventual risks regarding this new technology, along with personnel education. The study revealed that it is possible to establish a charging infrastructure for almost all studied bus lines. However, design of a charging infrastructure for each municipality requires further investigations, including electric grid capacity analysis, smart location of charging points, and tailored schedules to allow fast charging. In conclusion, electric buses proved to be a preferable alternative for all stakeholders involved in public bus transport in the studied municipalities. However, in order to electric buses to be a prominent support for sustainable development, they need to be charged either by stand-alone units or via an expansion of the electric grid, and the electricity should be made from new renewable sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, 255-264 p.
Series
International Journal of Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering, ISSN 2010-3778 ; 3
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, Electric Bus, Noise, GreenCharge
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-11712ISBN: PISSN:2010-376X, EISSN:2010-3778 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-11712DiVA: diva2:911643
Conference
The 18th International Conference on Sustainable Urban Transport and Environment, Madrid
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable Personal Road Transport: The Role of Electric Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Personal Road Transport: The Role of Electric Vehicles
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles can play an important role in a future sustainable road transport system and many Swedish politicians would like to see them implemented faster. This is likely desirable to reach the target of a fossil independent vehicle fleet in Sweden by 2030 and a greenhouse gas neutral Swedish society no later than 2050. However, to reach both these targets, and certainly to support the full scope of sustainability, it is important to consider the whole life-cycle of the vehicles and also the interaction between the transport sector and other sectors. So far, there are no plans for transitions towards a sustainable transport system applying a sufficiently wide systems perspective, in Sweden or elsewhere. This implies a great risk for sub-optimizations.

The overall aim of this work is to elaborate methodological support for development of sustainable personal road transport systems that is informed by a strategic sustainable development perspective.

The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is used as a foundation for the work to ensure a sufficiently wide systems perspective and coordinated collaboration across disciplines and sectors, both in the research and application. Maxwell’s Qualitative Research Design and the Design Research Methodology are used as overall guides for the research approach. Specific research methods and techniques include literature studies, action research seminars, interviews, and measurements of energy use, costs, and noise. Moreover, a case study on the conditions for a breakthrough for vehicles in southeast Sweden has been used as a test and development platform.

Specific results include a preliminary vision for electrical vehicles in southeast Sweden, framed by the principled sustainability definition of the FSSD, an assessment of the current reality in relation to that vision, and proposed solutions to bridge the gap, organized into a preliminary roadmap. The studies show that electric vehicles have several sustainability advantages even when their whole life-cycle is considered, provided that they are charged with electricity from new renewable sources. Electrical vehicles also imply a low total cost of ownership and could promote new local ‘green jobs’ under certain conditions. Particularly promising results are seen for electric buses in public transport. As a general result, partly based on the experiences from the specific case, a generic community planning process model is proposed and its usefulness for sustainable transport system development is discussed.

The strategic sustainable development perspective of this thesis broadens the analysis beyond the more common focus on climate change issues and reduces the risk of sub-optimizations in community and transport system development. The generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration could potentially also promote a more participatory democratic approach to community development, grounded in a scientific foundation. Future research will explore specific decision support systems for sustainable transport development based on the generic planning process model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2016. 116 p.
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 2016:02
Keyword
Strategic Sustainable Development, Transport Planning, Electric Vehicles, Testing, LCA
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11715 (URN)978-91-7295-325-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-04-15, BTH: J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
GreenCharge
Available from: 2016-03-15 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved
2. An Approach to Business Modeling for Sustainable Personal Road Transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Approach to Business Modeling for Sustainable Personal Road Transport
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Between 1950 and 2013 the total amount of Swedish travelling has increased from about 20 billion to about 140 billion passenger kilometers. This included an increase in travelling with private cars from about 3 billion to about 105 billion passenger kilometers, and in bus travelling from about 2.5 billion to about 5 billion passenger kilometers. The European commission has indicated that public transportation (if powered by clean fuels) is a suitable way to reduce environmental and health problems.

 

This thesis focuses on sustainable personal road transport, and aims to develop and test a new approach to examining the economic and socio-ecological sustainability effects of various road vehicles for private travelling and related business models. A special focus is set on comparing various bus systems for public transport and ways (business models) for private people to access cars. The main comparison parameters are the total cost of ownership and carbon dioxide emissions of different energy carriers for buses and cars. The Design Research Methodology is used to guide the research approach. The approach also builds on the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, which includes, for example, principles that define any sustainable future and a strategic planning process. The approach first employs Strategic Life Cycle Assessment to give a quick overview of sustainability challenges in each bus life cycle stage from raw materials to end of life. Several analysis tools such as Life Cycle Costing, Life Cycle Analysis, Product Service System, and Business Model Canvas mapping are then iteratively used to ”dig deeper” into identified prioritized challenges. Literature reviews, interviews, and simulations are used as supporting methods.

 

The results from a first theoretical test of the new approach suggest that a shift from diesel buses to electric buses (powered by renewable energy) could significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions, while also significantly lowering the total cost of ownership. The theoretical calculations were followed up by testing of electric buses in real operation in eight Swedish municipalities. The tests verified the theoretical results, and showed that electric buses are better than diesel buses both from a sustainability point of view and a cost point of view, and also that electric bus operation is a practically viable alternative for public transport. The new approach was tested also by comparing a variety of business models for private car travelling. The results indicate, among other things, that only people who travel more than 13.500 kilometers per year would benefit from owning a car.

 

In all, the thesis suggests a simultaneous shift from diesel buses to electric buses in public transport and, for the majority of the car drivers that drive less than 13.500 kilometers per year, switching from car ownership to car use services would be favourable for an affordable transition of the transport sector towards sustainability. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2016. 133 p.
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 3
Keyword
Business Modelling, Sustainable Transport
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11830 (URN)978-91-7295-327-7 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-10-12, J1650, Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-22 Created: 2016-04-22 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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