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Real-world performance of battery electric buses and their life-cycle benefits with respect to energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions


  • Zhou, Boya
  • Wu, Ye
  • Zhou, Bin
  • Wang, Renjie
  • Ke, Wenwei
  • Zhang, Shaojun
  • Hao, Jiming


Battery electric buses can reduce energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in China's transportation system. On-road testing is necessary to evaluate these benefits compared to their diesel counterparts through life-cycle assessment for both the upstream fuel production and operation stages. Three electric buses from China are operated and charged in Macao under different air-conditioning, load, and speed settings. In the minimum load scenario, the two 12-m buses achieve 138–175 kWh/100 km, and the 8-m bus achieves 79 kWh/100 km (system charging loss included). When air-conditioning and load are at their maximum values, the energy consumption increases by 21–27%; however, air-conditioning usage exerts a greater impact than passenger load. The diesel bus on-road performance increases more significantly than the electric bus performance under low speeds, higher load, and air-conditioning use, while the electric bus energy and CO2 emission benefits increase. Across a wide range of conditions, the electric bus reduces petroleum use by 85–87% compared to a diesel bus and achieves a 32–46% reduction in fossil fuel use and 19–35% in CO2 emissions from a life-cycle perspective. A cleaner power grid and an increase in system charging efficiency (if better than 60–84%) would enhance the future benefits of electric buses.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhou, Boya & Wu, Ye & Zhou, Bin & Wang, Renjie & Ke, Wenwei & Zhang, Shaojun & Hao, Jiming, 2016. "Real-world performance of battery electric buses and their life-cycle benefits with respect to energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 603-613.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:96:y:2016:i:c:p:603-613
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lin, Boqiang & Tan, Ruipeng, 2017. "Are people willing to pay more for new energy bus fares?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 365-372.
    2. Yuan, Xinmei & Zhang, Chuanpu & Hong, Guokai & Huang, Xueqi & Li, Lili, 2017. "Method for evaluating the real-world driving energy consumptions of electric vehicles," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 1955-1968.
    3. Gao, Zhiming & Lin, Zhenhong & LaClair, Tim J. & Liu, Changzheng & Li, Jan-Mou & Birky, Alicia K. & Ward, Jacob, 2017. "Battery capacity and recharging needs for electric buses in city transit service," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 588-600.
    4. Harris, Andrew & Soban, Danielle & Smyth, Beatrice M. & Best, Robert, 2018. "Assessing life cycle impacts and the risk and uncertainty of alternative bus technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 569-579.
    5. Zhang, Shaojun & Wu, Ye & Un, Puikei & Fu, Lixin & Hao, Jiming, 2016. "Modeling real-world fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions with high resolution for light-duty passenger vehicles in a traffic populated city," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 461-471.
    6. Tommy Rosén & Louise Ödlund, 2019. "System Perspective on Biogas Use for Transport and Electricity Production," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-13, October.
    7. Deng, Yelin & Li, Jianyang & Li, Tonghui & Zhang, Jingyi & Yang, Fan & Yuan, Chris, 2017. "Life cycle assessment of high capacity molybdenum disulfide lithium-ion battery for electric vehicles," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 77-88.
    8. Correa, G. & Muñoz, P. & Falaguerra, T. & Rodriguez, C.R., 2017. "Performance comparison of conventional, hybrid, hydrogen and electric urban buses using well to wheel analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 537-549.
    9. Dominik Franjo Dominković & Greg Stark & Bri-Mathias Hodge & Allan Schrøder Pedersen, 2018. "Integrated Energy Planning with a High Share of Variable Renewable Energy Sources for a Caribbean Island," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-15, August.
    10. Bossink, Bart A.G., 2017. "Demonstrating sustainable energy: A review based model of sustainable energy demonstration projects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1349-1362.
    11. Qin, Nan & Gusrialdi, Azwirman & Paul Brooker, R. & T-Raissi, Ali, 2016. "Numerical analysis of electric bus fast charging strategies for demand charge reduction," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 386-396.
    12. Xinkuo Xu & Xiaofeng Lv & Liyan Han, 2019. "Carbon Asset of Electrification: Valuing the Transition from Fossil Fuel-Powered Buses to Battery Electric Buses in Beijing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-16, May.
    13. Falcão, Eduardo Aparecido Moreira & Teixeira, Ana Carolina Rodrigues & Sodré, José Ricardo, 2017. "Analysis of CO2 emissions and techno-economic feasibility of an electric commercial vehicle," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 297-307.
    14. repec:spr:masfgc:v:23:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s11027-017-9757-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Masmoudi, Mohamed Amine & Hosny, Manar & Demir, Emrah & Genikomsakis, Konstantinos N. & Cheikhrouhou, Naoufel, 2018. "The dial-a-ride problem with electric vehicles and battery swapping stations," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 392-420.
    16. Xylia, Maria & Silveira, Semida, 2018. "The role of charging technologies in upscaling the use of electric buses in public transport: Experiences from demonstration projects," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 399-415.
    17. Zhao, Rui & Liu, Jie & Gu, Junjie, 2017. "A comprehensive study on Li-ion battery nail penetrations and the possible solutions," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 392-401.
    18. Klaus Kivekäs & Antti Lajunen & Jari Vepsäläinen & Kari Tammi, 2018. "City Bus Powertrain Comparison: Driving Cycle Variation and Passenger Load Sensitivity Analysis," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-26, July.
    19. Li, Wei & Jia, Zhijie & Zhang, Hongzhi, 2017. "The impact of electric vehicles and CCS in the context of emission trading scheme in China: A CGE-based analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 800-816.
    20. Gallet, Marc & Massier, Tobias & Hamacher, Thomas, 2018. "Estimation of the energy demand of electric buses based on real-world data for large-scale public transport networks," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 230(C), pages 344-356.


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