A comparative analysis of charging strategies for battery electric buses in wholesale electricity and ancillary services markets

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, technology - alternative fuels, infrastructure - fleet management, infrastructure - maintainance, infrastructure - vehicle, economics - operating costs


Battery electric buses, Smart charging, V2G, Ancillary services, Grid impact analysis


The application of smart charging to battery electric buses can provide opportunities for bus operators to reduce the operational costs of their bus fleet. This research aims to create insight into the impact of different charging strategies for battery electric bus fleets on charging costs and the grid load. It proposes a novel framework to model the charging process of battery electric buses for different charging strategies: charging-on-arrival, peak-shaving, day-ahead market optimization with and without vehicle-to-grid (V2G) functions, including the provision of Frequency Containment Reserves (FCR) and automatic Frequency Restoration Reserves (aFRR) for system balancing in ancillary services markets. Model simulations are conducted to compare the charging costs and grid impact of different charging strategies, using three depots of bus operator Qbuzz in the Netherlands as a case study. Results indicate that the application of smart charging algorithms can considerably reduce charging costs for bus operators. Application of the peak-shaving strategy was found to reduce charging costs by 23–32% compared to the reference case of charging-on-arrival. Charging costs can be further reduced by 6–11% when considering day-ahead market optimization. Participation in ancillary services markets for system balancing is economically attractive for bus operators, particularly in the aFRR market, characterized by a cost reduction potential of 90–¿100% compared to the charging-on-arrival strategy. The grid impact analysis indicates that charging-on-arrival can result in high charging demand peaks, which can be drastically reduced by the application of peak-shaving or day-ahead market optimization charging strategies. However, the provision of aFRR and FCR using the battery electric bus charging process can have a severe impact on the local grid in terms of high peak demand.


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


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