Battery electric bus (BEB) technology offers a clean and efficient alternative to diesel buses but may require the adjustment of routes to accommodate charging requirements

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) compared Foothill Transits electric bus and CNG fleet operation over a two-year period.

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Lesson Learned

Best Practices
  • Examine Route Options. Short-range, on-route-charged buses are inflexible and cannot be deployed at other service routes that do not connect to an on-route charging location.
  • Conduct Route Analysis. Review potential routes and consider the ones that best fit how battery electric buses operate based on driving range, duty cycle, and charging opportunities. An agency could benefit from conducting a route analysis and simulating how the battery electric buses would meet the range requirements.
  • Consider Route Adjustments. Adjust route schedules to accommodate battery electric buses charging time; this is part of the transition from conventional technology buses to electric buses. An agency may need to add deadhead miles prior to the start of the route depending on the location of the in-route charging station and availability of an in-depot charger.
  • Anticipate Weather Impacts. The higher use of air conditioning lowers the effective range in hotter months; Foothill Transit adjusts its summer schedule to account for more charging time.
  • Avoid Downtime for Charger Unavailability. Charger availability is important for successful deployment. Foothill Transit installed two charger heads at its charging station to avoid downtime for charger unavailability

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Foothill Transit Battery Electric Bus Demonstration Results: Second Report

Author: Leslie Eudy and Matthew Jeffers

Published By: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

URL: https://afdc.energy.gov/files/u/publication/foothill_transit_beb_demo_results_2nd_rpt.pdf

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Lesson Analyst:

Drennan Hicks


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Lesson ID: 2019-00864