Analysis of operational use of electric buses shows effect of temperature on vehicle range

ViriCiti has released a new report providing data on the average consumption of electric buses and the average distance driven on a fully charged battery. This research is claimed to be the first of its kind to analyse the performance of such a large sample of buses ( more than 100) consistently over several seasons and months, and to look separately at how much 12m and 18m buses consume in cold, normal, and high temperatures. 

Temperature is known to be one of the main factors influencing electric bus range and consumption, and the findings indicate that cold weather can increase consumption by 21 per cent. ViriCiti says that the consumption of 12m buses goes up by 14 per cent in cold temperatures on average. High temperatures also increase the consumption by 9 per cent.

Similar effects were noticed on 18m buses with data showing the average consumption increasing by 21 per cent during cold weather, and by 12 per cent when the temperature is high. 

The average distance driven of the 12m buses analysed is 218.02 km (135.47 miles) per day. For the 18m buses, the average is 164.32 km (102.10 miles) per day. On the basis of the analysis conducted with Dutch operators, ViriCiti says that with optimised infrastructure and operational processes, electric buses are able to run as much as diesel buses (up to 500 km/day).

With more than 3,500 buses and chargers across the world, ViriCiti claims to be the market leader in electric bus telematics in Europe and USA. For this study, ViriCiti gathered anonymised data from 106 buses, 79 12m and 27 18m in seven cities in the Netherlands from different manufacturers.

The average daily temperatures were assessed in three categories: cold temperatures (-10 to 14°C), normal (15 to 19°C), and high (20 to 29°C.