Electric Mobility is one key technology for increased energy efficiency and local zero emissions for vehicles – especially in cities. Urban bus public transportation is in many cities still one main contributor of urban particulate emissions and has not – only in developing countries –significant shares on urban traffic and is therefore a relevant research issue. Different technologies that seem suitable to meet these two targets (energy efficiency and local zero emissions) have been introduced to several field tests. However, little attention has been given to battery electric busses (BEB) in combination with battery switch stations – although both existing hurdles for BEB, range limitation and long charging times, could be solved. Furthermore, power load peaks in the evening hours through the charging process of busses could be prevented.
In this paper we first give an overview of different systems for urban bus transport with respect to characteristics such as emission reductions and technological challenges. In the following, we introduce several battery switch systems and analyze one example battery switch station for BEB and ... mehrits economic feasibility. The business case is based on empiric data for the Karlsruhe public transportation system and includes a calculation based on the net present value, sensitivity analyses and a possible system extension step. Even though there are various influencing factors, we show that both, a cost-efficient operation of a battery switch station in a current public bus fleet operation and a reduction of local air pollution are possible.