A Cost Benefit Analysis of Electrification of the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Fleet
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Cities and municipalities all over the world are currently considering the decarbonization potential of electrifying part or all of their public bus fleet. Bus fleets, with their planned routes, mileage, and life spans may provide an opportunity for electrification that is on par with light duty vehicle electrification. Currently, all electric buses have a higher up-front purchase or acquisition cost than their diesel counterparts of similar dimensions and manufacturers. This creates a need for fleet vehicle owners to weigh the costs and benefits of electrifying their fleet. The New York City (NYC) Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is the United State’s largest public transit authority. It has a combined fleet of 5757 buses. This paper considers the question: if the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority conducted a cost benefit analysis on converting their existent bus fleet to a partial or all electric bus fleet, would they find that the benefits of electrifying their bus fleet outweigh the costs? Three scenarios were modelled in the research: The first model, the business as usual (BAU) model, considers the Total Cost of Ownership of the current fleet over the typical lifespan of a bus. The second model is a 50% adoption scenario which considers the costs and benefits of having an identically large fleet that was half identical to the BAU model, and half all-electric. The third model is a 100% adoption scenario, which considers the costs and benefits of an identically large fleet being all electric. Model 1 results in levelized costs over the 12-year lifetime of $4,188,213,849 for the 5757 bus fleet, but no benefits other than avoiding the costs of electric buses. Model 2 resulted in levelized costs of $4,736,777,749, and benefits totaling $388,242,547. Model 3 resulted in levelized costs over of $5,284,423,736, and benefits totaling $656,517,051. Model 2 and 3 both showed that significant emission reductions were possible when electrifying the bus fleet.