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Integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cost Model for Comparing Plug-in Versus Wireless Charging for an Electric Bus System

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
April 14, 2017

An integrated life cycle assessment and life cycle cost (LCC) model was developed to compare the life cycle performance of plug-in charging versus wireless charging for an electric bus system. The model was based on a bus system simulation using existing transit bus routes in the Ann Arbor–Ypsilanti metro area in Michigan. The objective is to evaluate the LCCs for an all-electric bus system utilizing either plug-in or wireless charging and also compare these costs to both conventional pure diesel and hybrid bus systems. Despite a higher initial infrastructure investment for off-board wireless chargers deployed across the service region, the wireless charging bus system has the lowest LCC of US$0.99 per bus-kilometer among the four systems and has the potential to reduce use-phase carbon emissions attributable to the lightweighting benefits of on-board battery downsizing compared to plug-in charging. Further uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis indicate that the unit price of battery pack and day or night electricity price are key parameters in differentiating the LCCs between plug-in and wireless charging. Additionally, scenario analyses on battery recycling, carbon emission pricing, and discount rates were conducted to further analyze and compare their respective life cycle performance.

Research Areas
Mobility Systems
electric vehicles, industrial ecology, life cycle cost, mass transit, vehicle lightweighting, wireless charging
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12419
Full Citation
Bi, Zicheng, Robert De Kleine, Gregory Keoleian. (2016) “Integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost Model for Comparing Plug-in Versus Wireless Charging for an Electric Bus System.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 21(2): 344-355.