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Electrification of a City Bus Network: An Optimization Model for Cost-Effective Placing of Charging Infrastructure and Battery Sizing of Fast Charging Electric Bus Systems

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Abstract: The deployment of battery-powered electric bus systems within the public transportation sector plays an important role to increase energy efficiency and to abate emissions. Rising attention is given to bus systems using fast charging technology. This concept requires a comprehensive infrastructure to equip bus routes with charging stations. The combination of charging infrastructure and bus batteries needs a reliable energy supply to maintain a stable bus operation even under demanding conditions. An efficient layout of the charging infrastructure and an appropriate dimensioning of battery capacity are crucial to minimize the total cost of ownership and to enable an energetically feasible bus operation. In this work, the central issue of jointly optimizing the charging infrastructure and battery capacity is described by a capacitated set covering problem. A mixed-integer linear optimization model is developed to determine the minimum number and location of required charging stations for a bus network as well as the adequate battery capacity for each bus line of the network. The bus energy consumption for each route segments is determined based on individual route, bus type, traffic and other information. Different scenarios are examined in order to assess the influence of charging power, climate and changing operating conditions. The findings reveal significant differences in terms of needed infrastructure depending on the scenarios considered. Moreover, the results highlight a trade-off between battery size and charging infrastructure under different operational and infrastructure conditions. The paper addresses upcoming challenges for transport authorities during the electrification process of the bus fleets and sharpens the focus on infrastructural issues related to the fast charging concept.

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