Making the Financial Case for Battery Electric Buses

It seems that transit buses may be the first heavy-duty vehicle segment to significantly electrify. But are they cost-effective compared to traditional diesel buses?

Join Western Washington Clean Cities and Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities for the financial case for battery-electric buses.

A new report from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) aims to help transit fleet managers determine if investing in battery-electric buses (BEBs) would have an acceptable net present value (NPV) and payback period. It first sets a baseline scenario, representing common project characteristics. The baseline involved four BEBs and four depot chargers, received a grant of $1,500,000 (or $375,000 per bus with charger), and saw a value of $785,000 over the 12-year bus life. To determine whether to invest, the analysis examined 33 key inputs and recorded the NPV as those parameters shifted. Knowing how these parameters effect the overall value of the investment can help fleets determine if a BEB investment is likely to be cost-effective for them.


Caley Johnson

Senior Transportation Market Analyst