In this BasicLCA, we compared an electric bus for public transport to the equivalent diesel bus in order to determine which option is more environmentally friendly on a particular bus line. The key figures for the two busses were provided by the client and directly refer to the specifications of the manufacturer. We checked the plausibility of these data. In order to consider all up- and downstream processes throughout the entire life cycles, the foreground data were linked to already existing life cycle inventories from the ecoinvent inventory. We made adjustments on the ecoinvent inventory for a meaningful representation of the concerned diesel- resp. electric busses. During these activities as well as for the calculation and analysis of the LCA results of both vehicles we rely on our long-standing experience, which is reflected by our efficient implementation and the reasonable price. The uncertainties related to the mentioned procedure were pictured in the results.
An electric vehicle was found to be very well suitable for the typical stopping and starting of a bus line: while driving, the bus generates almost no emissions. However, it requires a battery and electricity. From an environmental perspective, the underlying electricity mix for the electric bus operation is crucial. This is why, to demonstrate the relevance of the electricity mix choice, different electricity-supply scenarios were calculated, such as Swiss electricity mix, margina electricity mix or own electricity production out of renewable energy sources (hydraulic, photovoltaic).
This short study shows, once again, that thanks to our wide experience, a cost-efficient rough estimate can provide sufficient and robust results for our client’s internal decision-making.