Study: Electric buses earn 82% more profit than diesel buses

LOS ANGELES METRO BUS - BYD Electric Bus - Jonathan Riley (CC BY-SA 2.0) copy

Cities around the world are investigating the potential of electric transit buses to reduce costs and improve air quality. The latest is Bangalore, India’s high-tech hub, which recently tested what it says are the country’s first electric buses.

Electric buses’ greater energy efficiency compared to legacy diesel vehicles (and even CNG buses) has already been well documented. Now a study from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has found another reason that e-buses are superior: they’re more profitable.

“Electric buses generate 27% more revenue and 82% more profits than diesel buses per day,” said study co-author Sheela Ramasesha. Furthermore, “25 tonnes of CO2 emission can be cut every year for every diesel bus replaced by an electric bus.”

The IISc researchers tested a Chinese-built electric bus for three months on an existing route in Bangalore, and compared its economic and environmental impact with a diesel bus on the same route. The lower fuel and maintenance costs of the e-bus made it a more profitable proposition.

According to IISc, India has some 150,000 diesel buses (and around 670,000 annual deaths from air pollution).


Source: The Better India
Image: Jonathan Riley (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • David Sharp

    Sustainability, when properly applied, will always save money and our planet. To the world’s CEOs and CFOs, please implement as many EVs into your operations as possible, when possible. Your shareholders and your fellow citizens will love you for this,

    • Barry L Alexander

      I agree in the long term about money, in the short term it usually costs money. Now for public companies you must save money in the longer term or at least not cost much more in general. Some industries do get customers by being green but most investors want money.

  • Barry L Alexander

    Good idea but I question the study. How do you get more revenue? Might be true but all such studies are questionable unless they release their logic and data.

  • shusa2013

    To call this a “study” is ridiculous.

    1) All of the data is based on one brand new electric bus provided by the bus manufacturer. Was it a standard road vehicle, or a “special” bus they use for tests? The study doesn’t say.

    2) All that is mentioned is the diesel bus used in the study was a legacy bus. Was it 5 years old, 10, 15? What emissions standard did it adhere too? Being it was a legacy bus, what was its service history? The study doesn’t say.

    3) As Kamil Kaluski noted in his critcial analyis of the “study”, most importantly, the study completely ignores several important cost factors. The overhead and capital costs associated with running and maintaining a fleet of electric buses is completely omitted.

    Also omitted is the recharge time and charging locations. To accommodate an electric bus fleet, significant capital improvements would need to be made to any existing bus facilities. Charging stations would need to be added in garages, along the bus routes, and/or route terminals. The amount of charging stations and their locations would vary greatly by route length, charge time, vehicle quantity, and the maximum range of the electric buses.

    Likewise, service and maintenance facilities would need to be suited toward electric vehicles with power connections. Personnel working in those facilities would need to be trained to work on electric buses or additional personnel would need to be hired. The cost of these capital improvements would be immensely significant, especially from an ROI point of view, and the study did not address it at all.

    4) In a brilliant move, however, the amount of money each bus accumulated in fares was included.

    To compare a brand new electric bus to an older diesel bus is bad enough. But to omit the basic expenses required in operating an electrical system is utterly ridiculous.

    Steve Hansen – Diesel Technology Forum

    • Alexis Boom

      Actually this is just the article about the study explaining it for the masses.

      Get over yourself.