The Report on Real-World Performance of Electric and Hybrid Buses was prepared by Jürg M. Grütter from Grütter Consulting to provide the Hybrid and E-Bus Tool to compare hybrid and electric buses with that of conventional fossil fuel units. The report comes together with an excel-based tool to compare the environmental and financial performance of hybrids and electric buses with conventional diesel units. It shows for the first time real-world savings compared with same fuel-type conventional units of the same age, standard and routes with operational data over a period of 1- 4 years. The real-world performance of operators with large fleets of hybrids show clearly that fuel savings of 25-35% with conventional hybrids and 40% or more with plug-in hybrids can be expected. The reliability of hybrids is comparable to conventional fossil fuel buses and also maintenance costs, with exception of battery costs, are comparable. Under average annual operating conditions and fuel prices hybrids can be profitable recovering the initial differential investment within 5-6 years. Carbon finance can play an important role in reducing the differential investment cost of hybrids and thus making latter more popular.
The report concludes that electric battery buses are still less well established. Various options are being tried to resolve the problem of range, battery weight and battery cost such as buses carrying along large battery racks (e.g. BYD), buses with fast-change battery racks (e.g. Yutong) or opportunity charge bus systems like TOSA. Currently reliability of electric buses is still significantly below conventional diesel units. Energy usage of electric buses is low and fuel savings can be significant. However, battery costs are still very high and life-span of batteries is limited thus resulting in significant additional costs of electric buses which cannot be recovered currently with energy savings. It is previewed that the cost of electric buses will come down and that battery capacity will increase whilst costs decrease. With larger fleets reliability should also improve and maintenance costs should decrease.
You can download the full-text version of the report in here.