A Comprehensive TCO Evaluation Method for Electric Bus Systems Based on Discrete-Event Simulation Including Bus Scheduling and Charging Infrastructure Optimisation
Bus operators around the world are facing the transformation of their fleets from fossil-fuelled to electric buses. Two technologies prevail: Depot charging and opportunity charging at terminal stops. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is an important metric for the decision between the two technologies; however, most TCO studies for electric bus systems rely on generalised route data and simplifying assumptions that may not reflect local conditions. In particular, the need to reschedule vehicle operations to satisfy electric buses’ range and charging time constraints is commonly disregarded. We present a simulation tool based on discrete-event simulation to determine the vehicle, charging infrastructure, energy and staff demand required to electrify real-world bus networks. These results are then passed to a TCO model. A greedy scheduling algorithm is developed to plan vehicle schedules suitable for electric buses. Scheduling and simulation are coupled with a genetic algorithm to determine cost-optimised charging locations for opportunity charging. A case study is carried out in which we analyse the electrification of a metropolitan bus network consisting of 39 lines with 4748 passenger trips per day. The results generally favour opportunity charging over depot charging in terms of TCO; however, under some circumstances, the technologies are on par. This emphasises the need for a detailed analysis of the local bus network in order to make an informed procurement decision.
Published in: World Electric Vehicle Journal, 10.3390/wevj11030056, MDPI