Skip to main content Accessibility help

Design of urban electric bus systems

  • Dietmar Göhlich (a1), Tu-Anh Fay (a1), Dominic Jefferies (a1), Enrico Lauth (a1), Alexander Kunith (a1) and Xudong Zhang (a2)...


Many public transport authorities have a great interest in introducing zero-emission electric buses. However, the transformation process from diesel to electric bus systems opens up a vast design space which seems prohibitive for a systematic decision making process. We present a holistic design methodology to identify the ‘most suitable system solution’ under given strategic and operational requirements. The relevant vehicle technologies and charging systems are analysed and structured using a morphological matrix. A modular simulation model is introduced which takes technical and operational aspects into account. The model can be used to determine a feasible electric bus system. The technology selection is based on a detailed economic analysis which is conducted by means of a total cost of ownership (TCO) model. To cope with uncertainties in forecasting, a stochastic modelling of critical input parameters is applied and three different future scenarios are evaluated. The applicability of the model was verified in a pilot project in Berlin and the methodology was applied to a realistic operational scenario. Our results indicate that electric bus systems are technically feasible and can become economically competitive from the year 2025 under the conditions examined.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Design of urban electric bus systems
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Design of urban electric bus systems
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Design of urban electric bus systems
      Available formats


Distributed as Open Access under a CC-BY 4.0 license (

Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence:


Hide All
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)(Ed.) 2000 ASHRAE Handbook. HVAC Systems and Equipment.
Barlow, T. J., Latham, S., McCrae, I. S. & Boulter, P. G. 2009 A Reference Book of Driving Cycles for Use in the Measurment of Road Vehicle Emissions, 3rd ed. Berkshire; checked on 9/22/2016.
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe AöR(Ed.) 2013 Bustypen der BVG. Archived online document.
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe AöR(Ed.) 2016 Die Omnibusflotte der BVG. Available online at, checked on 4/22/2017.
Bombardier Transportation(Ed.) 2015 Primove Charging 200. Datenblatt. Available online at ications/BT_PRIMOVE_charging_Fact_Sheet_2015_110dpi.pdf.
Braess, H.-H. & Seiffert, U.(Eds) 2013 Vieweg Handbuch Kraftfahrzeugtechnik. 7, Springer Vieweg, aktualisierte Auflage.
Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung(Ed.) 2013 Aktualisierte und erweitere Testreferenzjahre (TRY) von Deutschland für mittlere und extreme Witterungsverhältnisse. Available online at, updated on 2013, checked on 4/28/2017.
Coren, M. J. 2018 One city in China has More Electric Buses than all of America’s Biggest Cities have Buses. Edited by Quartz. Available online at, checked on 2/2/2018.
Crastan, V. 2012 Elektrische Energieversorgung 1. Netzelemente, Modellierung, stationäres Verhalten, Bemessung, Schalt- und Schutztechnik. 3. Springer, Aufl., Available online at doi:10.1007/978-3-642-22346-4.
European Commission(Ed.) 2011 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. A Roadmap for Moving to a Competitive Low Carbon Economy in 2050. Available online at, checked on 5/15/2017.
European Commission2015 Commission Implementing Decision of 12.3.2015 on a Standardisation Request to Draft European Standards for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (M/533). Available online at
European Union 2015 Directive 2015/719 of the European Parliament and of the Council. In Official Journal of the European Union - Legislation (L 115). Available online at
European Union 2017 Statistical Pocketbook. EU Transport in Figures. Bietlot, Belgien; checked on 1/12/2018.
Faltenbacher, M., Vetter, O., Rock, A. & Grafetstätter, J. 2016 Statusbericht 2015/16 Hybrid- und Elektrobus-Projekte in Deutschland. Edited by Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur – BMVI. Berlin.
FCH JU(Ed.) 2012 Urban Buses: Alternative Powertrains for Europe. A Fact-Based Analysis of the Role of Diesel Hybrid, Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Trolley and Battery Electric Powertrains. With assistance of McKinsey & Company. Edited by FCH JU – The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
Gao, Z., Lin, Z., LaClair, T. J., Liu, C., Li, J.-M., Birky, A. K. & Ward, J. 2017 Battery capacity and recharging needs for electric buses in city transit service. Energy 122, 588600.
Giakoumis, E. G. 2017 Driving and Engine Cycles. Springer International Publishing, Cham; checked on 4/5/2017.
Göhlich, D., Kunith, A. & Ly, T. 2014 Technology assessment of an electric urban bus system for Berlin. In URBAN TRANSPORT 2014. The Algarve, Portugal, 28.05.2014–30.05.2014 (ed. Brebbia, C. A. & Longhurst, J. W. S.), pp. 137149. WIT Press, Southampton, UK (WIT Transactions on The Built Environment).
Göhlich, D., Spangenberg, F. & Kunith, A. 2013 Stochastic total cost of ownership forecasting for innovative urban transport systems. In IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, IEEM 2013, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 838842. doi:10.1109/IEEM.2013.6962529.
Göhlich, D., Ly, T.-A., Kunith, A. & Jefferies, D. 2015 Economic assessment of different air-conditioning and heating systems for electric city buses based on comprehensive energetic simulations. In EVS28 International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition, Kintex, Korea, May 3–6 (ed. Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS)). checked on 5/3/2017.
Heuke, A. 2017 OPPCHARGE: Eine Unterstützungsinitiative zur Standardisierung der Ladung von Elektrobussen. In VDV-Akademie-Konferenz Elektrobusse - Markt der Zukunft (ed. Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)), vol. 8. Berlin.
Ingersoll-Rand Company(Ed.) 2016 Thermo King Athenia MkII Electric Series. Datasheet. Available online at, checked on 3/28/2017.
IPT Technology GmbH (IPT)(Ed.) 2016 Competitive, Clean and Efficient Public Transport with IPT Charge Bus. Available online at, checked on 5/5/2017.
Jefferies, D., Ly, T., Kunith, A. & Göhlich, D. 2015 Energiebedarf verschiedener Klimatisierungssysteme für Elektro-Linienbusse (ed. Deutscher Kälte- und Klimatechnischer Verein (DKV)). Deutsche Kälte- und Klimatagung, Dresden.
Konvekta, A. G.(Ed.) 2016 Klimaanlagen UL 500 EM / 600 EM / 700 EM. Datenblatt. Available online at, checked on 4/24/2017.
Korthauer, R.2013 Handbuch Lithium-Ionen-Batterien.
Kunith, A., Mendelevitch, R. & Goehlich, D. 2017 Electrification of a city bus network – an optimization model for cost-effective placing of charging infrastructure and battery sizing of fast charging electric bus systems. In International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, vol. 7, p. 0; doi:10.1080/15568318.2017.1310962.
Kunith, A. W.2017 Elektrifizierung des urbanen öffentlichen Busverkehrs. Dissertation. Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin. Methoden der Produktentwiclung und Mechatronik, checked on 1/4/2018.
Lajunen, A.2014 Improving the energy efficiency and operating performance of heavy vehicles by powertrain electrification. Dissertation. Aalto University, Espoo, Finnland. School of Engineering, checked on 11/28/2016.
Lajunen, A. & Lipman, T. 2016 Lifecycle cost assessment and carbon dioxide emissions of diesel, natural gas, hybrid electric, fuel cell hybrid and electric transit buses. Energy 106, 329342.
Lang, J.-G. 2017 Vom Testfeld zum Masterplan. Die Lernkurve der HOCHBAHN aus 15 Jahren Elektromobilität (ed. Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)), vol. 8. VDV-Akademie-Konferenz Elektrobusse - Markt der Zukunft, Berlin.
Li, Z. & Hensher, D. A. 2013 Crowding in public transport: a review of objective and subjective measures. Journal of Public Transportation 16 (2), 107134.
Ly, T.-A., Göhlich, D. & Heide, L. 2016 Assessment of the interaction of charging system and battery technology for the use in urban battery electric bus systems. In Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference. The 13th IEEE Vehicle and Propulsion Conference. Hangzhou, China, 17–20.10.2016 (ed. IEEE). IEEE; checked on 5/3/2017.
Mahmoud, M., Garnett, R., Ferguson, M. & Kanaroglou, P. 2016 Electric buses. A review of alternative powertrains. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 62, 673684.
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Gruppe 2008 Grundlagen der Nuzfahrzeugtechnik. Basiswissen Lkw und Bus. Kirschbaum Verlag, Bonn.
Neudorfer, H. 2016 Vergleich unterschiedlicher Antriebstechnologien für elektrische Busantriebe. Trolleymotion Ebus Berlin. Trolleymotion Ebus. Berlin, 31.05.2016.
Nurhadi, L., Borén, S. & Ny, H. 2014 A sensitivity analysis of total cost of ownership for electric public bus transport systems in Swedish medium sized cities. Transportation Research Procedia 3, 818827.
Omnibus Revue(Ed.) 2017 Datenblatt Van Hool AGG300. Available online at, checked on 4/22/2017.
Overkamp, W. 2015 Nutzung von Straßenbahn-Infrastrukturen zur Ladung von Batteriebussen. Demonstrationsprojekt Oberhausen (ed. Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)), vol. 6. VDV-Akademie-Konferenz Elektrobusse, Berlin.
Phoenix Contact GmbH(Ed.) 2013 Solutions for E-Mobility. Available online at, checked on 5/3/2017.
Pihlatie, M., Kukkonen, S., Halmeaho, T., Karvonen, V. & Nylund, N.-O. 2014 Fully electric city buses – the viable option. In International Electric Vehicle Conference 2014 (ed. IEEE). checked on 11/4/2016.
Prenaj, B. 2014 TOSA flash elektrobus system: Erfahrungen und Perspektiven nach neun Monaten im öffentlichen Betrieb.(ed. Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)), vol. 5. VDV-Akademie-Konferenz Elektrobusse, Berlin.
Raab, A. F., Lauth, E., Strunz, K. & Göhlich, D. 2017 Implementation schemes for electrified bus fleets at intra-urban depots with optimized energy procurements in virtual power plant operations. In The 30th International Electric Vehicle Symposium.
Rheinbahn, A. G.(Ed.) 2016 Gutes Klima in unseren Bahnen und Bussen. Available online at, checked on 4/26/2017.
Rogge, M., Wollny, S. & Sauer, D. 2015 Fast charging battery buses for the electrification of urban public transport—a feasibility study focusing on charging infrastructure and energy storage requirements. Energies 8 (5), 45874606.
Roland, B. 2015 Fuel Cell Electric Buses – Potential for Sustainable Public Transport in Europe. Edited by FCH JU – The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. Available online at, checked on 6/6/2016.
Rothgang, S., Rogge, M., Becker, J. & Sauer, D. 2015 Battery design for successful electrification in public transport. Energies 8 (7), 67156737.
Schunk GmbH(Ed.) 2015 Schunk Smart Charging. Charging Systems for Battery-Powered Vehicles. Broschüre. Available online at, checked on 5/3/2017.
Schunk GmbH(Ed.) 2017 Schunk Smart Charging. Available online at, checked on 5/3/2017.
Sinhuber, P., Rohlfs, W. & Sauer, D. U. 2012 Study on power and energy demand for sizing the energy storage systems for electrified local public transport buses. In IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference 2012. Seoul, Korea (South) (ed. IEEE). checked on 11/4/2016.
Stadtwerke Münster GmbH(Ed.) 2015 Klimaanlagen: Damit es im Bus nicht zu heiß wird. Available online at, checked on 4/26/2017.
Thielmann, A., Neef, C., Hettesheimer, T., Döscher, H., Wietschel, M. & Tübke, J. 2017 Energiespeicher-Roadmap_Update 2017. Edited by Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI, checked on 1/12/2018.
Thielmann, A., Sauer, A. & Wietschel, M.2015 Gesamt-Roadmap Energiespeicher für die Elektromobilität 2030. Available online at
Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP)(Ed.) 2009 UITP-Projekt ‘SORT’ Standardisierte Zyklen für Straßentests. Standardised On-Road Tests Cycles, 2nd ed. Brüssel; checked on 8/7/2014.
VDL Bus & Coach bv2017 10 VDL Citea Electrics in scheduled service in Groningen. Available online at, checked on 2/2/2018.
Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)(Ed.) 2015 VDV-Schrift 236: Klimatisierung von Linienbussen der Zulassungsklassen I und II, für konventionell angetriebene Diesel- und Gasbusse sowie für Hybrid-, Brennstoffzellen- und Elektrobusse.
Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)(Ed.) 2016 2015. Statistik. checked on 2/1/2018.
Volvo Buses 2014 Premiere for Volvo’s Electric Hybrid in Commercial Service. Video. Available online at, checked on 5/3/2017.
Waschbusch, L. M. 2017 Tide Buss bestellt 25 vollelektrische Volvo-Busse. Edited by Vogel Business Media GmbH & Co. KG. Available online at, checked on 2/2/2018.
ZeEUS Project(Ed.) 2016 ZeEUS eBus Report. An Overview of Electric Buses in Europe. Available online at
Zhang, X. & Goehlich, D. 2016 A novel driving and regenerative braking regulation design based on distributed drive electric vehicles. In 2016 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC), Hangzhou, China, 17.10.2016–20.10.2016, pp. 16. IEEE, checked on 4/20/2017.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Design of urban electric bus systems

  • Dietmar Göhlich (a1), Tu-Anh Fay (a1), Dominic Jefferies (a1), Enrico Lauth (a1), Alexander Kunith (a1) and Xudong Zhang (a2)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.