A study in the United States casts some light on how the running costs of expensive battery electric vehicles compare with other technology used for urban transit services. GORDON FELLER reports.
Two facts that seem to be accepted about battery electric buses are that they are significantly more expensive to purchase than diesels, but that their whole life running costs should be lower. But is this borne out by real life experience?
As their numbers increase in the UK and much of Europe, operators and transport authorities on this side of the Atlantic might find the results of a United States comparison of battery electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses are helpful in putting those theories to the test.
The figures have been published by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which has sponsored the measurement of the performance of electric and other new technology buses as part of a wider programme to fund the accelerated development of a commercially viable alternative to diesel vehicles.