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e-Bus & e-Truck



Electric buses (e-buses) have several advantages over traditional diesel buses in addition to reduced emissions, such as lower operating costs, improved energy efficiency, lower geopolitical risk, and greater comfort.


The electrification of transit buses becomes more attractive when vehicles are deployed on busy, high-volume routes.  Public & shared transit is more important in lower-income countries, where a larger share of the population cannot afford a vehicle [ICCT, Jan/2023].  India, Chile, and Brazil are leading the way in electrifying their bus fleets in their largest cities by introducing innovative financing and improved procurement practices [WB, Nov/2022].


Unlike other electric vehicle (EV) categories like cars and two- and three-wheelers that may have home charging infrastructure, e-buses fully rely on commercial ones.  Depot charging (a.k.a "overnight charging" - chargers btw 150-300 kW) and opportunity charging (mostly pantograph, w/ faster recharges - charges up to 600 kWh) are used to recharge intra-city e-buses.




Transporting goods by long-haul vehicles is a key element to healthy economies, but currently brings significant carbon emissions.  As a result, the problem comes down to the truck's fuel.


Trucks are heavily used capital goods that are much more expensive to fuel than they are to acquire Electric trucks (e-trucks) are entering markets worldwide.  McKinsey estimates e-truck adoption will exceed 30% by 2030 across different vehicle classes: light commercial vehicle (LCV), for last mile delivery under 100 km per day, medium-duty truck (MDT), and heavy-duty truck (HDT) [MCK, Oct/2020].


- BEV or FCEV e-Trucks?


From a logistics operator perspective, the main advantage of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) over pure battery electric vehicles (BEV) is the operational flexibility gained from fast refueling times [H2AC, Jul/2022]. FCEV will be required for long-distance, heavy-duty road freight.  But, it also may be needed for grid-constrained areas and double shifts, not just long distances.


One application where FCEV may make some headway is in garbage collection.  A number of towns, including New York City, are testing electric garbage trucks.  The frequent stops-and-starts of garbage collection, combined with the load collections, are taxing the batteries [TD, 2022].  


The main problem of FCEV is that, unlike electricity, hydrogen’s network is not built out.  Another issue concerns energy efficiency: whereas a BEV would be able to utilise 77 kW of every 100 kW of renewable energy generated, a H2 FCEV would only be able to make use of 30kW [RECHARGE, Jul/2022].  Also, BEV has some advantage with shorter haul fleets such as LTL (Less Than Truckload) and last-mile.


After all, is BEV or FCEV?: It’s ‘and’, not ‘or’: stakeholders are convinced it’s going to be both [RECHARGE, Jul/2022].

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