A cost-competitiveness analysis of charging infrastructure for electric bus operations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, infrastructure - fleet management, infrastructure - maintainance, economics - operating costs, operations - frequency


Electric bus, Charging lane, Charging station, Battery swapping station, Battery size, Fleet size, Optimal design


This study investigates the cost competitiveness of different types of charging infrastructure, including charging stations, charging lanes (via charging-while-driving technologies) and battery swapping stations, in support of an electric public transit system. To this end, we first establish mathematical models to investigate the optimal deployment of various charging facilities along the transit line and determine the optimal size of the electric bus fleet, as well as their batteries, to minimize total infrastructure and fleet costs while guaranteeing service frequency and satisfying the charging needs of the transit system. We then conduct an empirical analysis utilizing available real-world data. The results suggest that: (1) the service frequency, circulation length, and operating speed of a transit system may have a great impact on the cost competitiveness of different charging infrastructure; (2) charging lanes enabled by currently available inductive wireless charging technology are cost competitive for most of the existing bus rapid transit corridors; (3) swapping stations can yield a lower total cost than charging lanes and charging stations for transit systems with high operating speed and low service frequency; (4) charging stations are cost competitive only for transit systems with very low service frequency and short circulation; and (5) the key to making charging lanes more competitive for transit systems with low service frequency and high operating speed is to reduce their unit-length construction cost or enhance their charging power.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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