Planning a Zero-Emission Mixed-Fleet Public Bus System with Minimal Life Cycle Cost

The variety of available technology options for the operation of zero-emission bus systems gives rise to the problem of finding an optimal technology decision for bus operators. Among others, overnight charging, opportunity charging and hydrogen-based technology options are frequently pursued technological solutions. As their operating conditions are strongly influenced by the urban context, an optimal technology decision is far from trivial. In this paper, we propose an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) based optimization model that is built upon a broad input database, which allows a customized adaption to local circumstances. The ultimate goal is to determine an optimal technology decision for each bus line, considering its combined effects on charging and vehicle scheduling as well as infrastructural design. To this end, we developed technology-specific network representations for five distinct technologies. These networks can be viewed individually or as a multi-layered graph, which represents the input for the optimal technology mix. The proposed optimization framework was applied to a real-world instance with more than 4.000 timetabled trips. To study the sensitivity of solutions, parameter changes were tested in a comprehensive scenario design. The subsequent analysis produced valuable managerial insights for the bus operator and highlighted the decisive role of certain planning assumptions. The results of our computations reveal that the deployment of a mixed fleet can indeed lead to financial benefits. The comparison of single technology system solutions provides a further basis for decision-making and demonstrates relative superiorities between different technologies.



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