A new analysis — taking into consideration such variable factors as travel time, associated emissions, overall energy use, noise, taxes, resource use, etc — has determined that electric buses could allow cities in Sweden (and elsewhere) to save the equivalent of around SEK 100 million a year (assuming a city population size of 500,000).
The new findings are the result of collaborative work undertaken by the advisory firm KPMG and Volvo Group.
“Standard investment appraisals do not take into account all of the costs that impact society and the environment. Therefore, to quantify all of the aspects, we have now calculated the monetary value of an electric bus line,” stated Niklas Gustafsson, Head of Sustainability at the Volvo Group. “The results show that irrespective of the number of parameters taken into consideration, electric buses comprise the leading public transport solution.”
The findings assume that the city in question features a bus network utility around 400 buses. Much of the predicted cost savings are the result of, unsurprisingly, the switch from diesel to electric. In addition to these direct cost savings, reduced air pollution and noise would also lower health costs by up to SEK 24 million, according to the new analysis.
“Electric buses are an excellent example of an innovation that can create substantial societal values,” stated Daniel Dellham, KPMG. “By supplementing standard financial analysis with socioeconomic and environmental factors, one arrives at a more complete picture of the investment’s impact on companies and society.”
Volvo is currently conducting a pilot electric bus project in the city of Gothenburg. Presuming all goes well, the initiative will be expanded.
In June 2015, an entirely new electric bus line was opened in Gothenburg with the aim of developing and testing new solutions for sustainable public transport. The line is the result of a partnership between Volvo Group and several partners from industry, research, and society.
“The bus line is one of the most modern in the world and interest is incredibly high, not least due to the buses being completely silent and emission-free, and being run on electricity from wind and hydro power,” stated Niklas Gustafsson. “But the innovation aspect primarily pertains to the complete transportation system. A system that we can now show meets society’s socioeconomic and environmental challenges.”
Here’s a video rider survey of the new electric bus line, for those interested: