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The Development of a Generalised Operational and Economic Assessment Model for New Bus Technology and its Application to the Perth Fuel Cell Bus Trial

Cockcroft, Colin J. (2017) The Development of a Generalised Operational and Economic Assessment Model for New Bus Technology and its Application to the Perth Fuel Cell Bus Trial. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The Sustainable Transport Energy for Perth (STEP) Fuel Cell Bus Trial ran for three years from October 2004. It was closely associated with the Clean Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) trial that operated 33 DaimlerChrysler fuel cell buses in 11 cities around the world.

The trial was the subject of an Australian study program that included, amongst other analysis areas, an operational analysis and an economic analysis.

The scope of this research covered these two research topics and was structured to answer the following questions:

1. What is the minimum data required to successfully evaluate the technical and cost-benefit performance of a new bus technology, compared to the incumbent technology?

2. How did the assessment of the Perth Fuel Cell Bus Trial lead to the development of this methodology?

3. What lessons were learnt from the application of this methodology to the Perth Fuel Cell Bus Trial?

4. How applicable has this approach been to subsequent bus trials?

The operational analysis drew on daily reporting on the operation of the EcoBuses. Data was stored and analysed using a database developed for this research. The final database contained 101,736 separate entries in 14 tables.

The economic analysis examined a base case and six scenarios to examine variations in the base case parameters.

The method and economic model have been validated in several bus trials since the completion of the Perth fuel cell bus trial.

The key results of this study were:

• A description of the minimum data required to capture both the performance and operating conditions for a bus trial was developed. The key components were:

- financial performance in terms of capital and operating costs and
- environmental performance in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and air toxic emissions during production and operation and the social costs of those emissions.

• Bus performance, both financial and environmental, is highly dependent on operating conditions. It is critical that the operating conditions are captured to give context to the buses performance. These include passenger loads, terrain, operating distance, traffic conditions, and weather conditions.

• In the three year Perth Fuel Cell Bus Trial, the EcoBuses travelled a total of 258,000 km and consumed an average of 18.1 kg of hydrogen per 100 km.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Pryor, Trevor
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