The Operation of Electric Bus Fleets in Asia from a Cost-benefit Perspective

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Title: The Operation of Electric Bus Fleets in Asia from a Cost-benefit Perspective
Authors: ZHANG, Tianshu
Abstract: The environmental issues and climate challenges have become hot topics in the global social debate for decades, involving multiple parties and sectors. As one of the major contributors to carbon emission and air pollution, the transport sector is also proactively seeking a sustainable solution. One of the most efficient counter measures is the electrification of transportation. Due to the characteristics of high population density and travel demand, the Asia region expresses a more pressing need and stands out during the transition to electric public transport. Multiple Asian countries have introduced legislation and regulations to support the develop ment of electric public transport. As the operation of electric buses is still new and developing fast, the analysis from a cost-benefit perspective to unveil its financial and economic performance is significant at the current stage. A theoretical framework of Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for electric bus operations is proposed for evaluations in given social, economic, and environmental contexts. By financial cash flow analysis, the cahs flows generated in each year in the life cy cles of electric buses are discounted to the time before initiation, the sum of which is defined as net present value (NPV). It provides a reference for decision-makers when comparing the performance of profitability among different alternative plans of developing electric bus systems. Furthermore, the environmental effects which as sess the project from social aspects, are also considered in the economic CBA. Risk assessment, sensitivity analysis and breakeven analysis are carried out to determine how the NPVs of the projects might be influenced by risks, how sensitive the NPVs are, how likely that the priority of the alternatives might change due to the nuances of certain variables, respectively. The theoretical framework is empirically used for a case study in Baicheng, China, based on field data obtained from a structured interview with the local public trans port operator. It is found that the operations of both traditional fuel buses and electric buses are not profitable only by ticket revenue. However, electric buses are much less costly as compared to the traditional fuel buses in life cycles. The monetized environmental effects do not influence the NPV substantially. A risk breakdown structure and risk matrix are introduced to identify the risks and take corresponding countermeasures. Through sensitivity analysis, it is concluded that both electric buses and fuel buses are very sensitive to the change in labor cost. Besides, fuel bus operation is also sensitive to maintenance cost and energy cost, while electric bus operation is more sensitive to vehicle investment.This study sorts out and provides a systematic methodology of CBA for similar projects. The case study in Baicheng also has referential value for other medium-or-small-sized cities during the same process.
Keywords: electric bus;public transport operation;cost-benefit analysis;net present value;risk assessment;sensitivity analysis
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik (ACE)
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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