IEA Task 33 Battery Electric Buses

The objective of the IEA HEV Task 33 “Battery Electric Buses” (2018 – 2020) is to analyse and assess the current state of technology and demonstration experiences of battery electric buses to conclude on future perspectives. The following partners cooperate in Task 33: Spain: IREC – Catalonia Institute for Energy Research, Canada: NRCAN – Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Research and Innovation, Finland: VTT, Germany: hySOLUTION, South Korea: Ulsam University, and Austria: JOANNEUM RESEARCH (Operating Agent). Beside the participating countries further cooperations were established: IEA AMF Annex 53 „Sustainable Bus Systems“, (Molina Center for Energy and the Environment, Chile) and PRO-EME: Promoting Electric Mobility in Urban Europe, a project in the program ERA-NET Electric Mobility Europe, (DLR, Germany).
The organization of workshops with participation from industry, research organizations, technology policy experts and governmental institutions established an international basis for the exchange of information on the relevant issues on e-buses. Two workshops on state of technology and future perspectives of battery electric buses in Helsinki 2018 and Eindhoven 2019 were organised.


Bus transportation systems using battery electric buses are reaching increasing attention in recent years. After several years of testing battery electric buses in demonstration projects, now several cities and urban bus operators started to electrify their bus fleets partially/completely. Recent developments show that new charging strategies and advanced energy storage technologies enable full-day operation of battery electric buses.


The major activities are:
• Identify and analyse state of technology and systems of battery electric buses,
• Collect and document „International Success Stories“ in a common format,
• Give overview of systems and technology providers with characteristic data,
• Stakeholder involvement in workshops in combination with site visit,
• Analyse combination of trolley and battery bus systems,
• Integration and use of existing infrastructure of trams, trolleys and metro,
• Identify success factors, e.g. size of bus, distances between bus stops,
• Describe and define various loading strategies,
• Analyse sustainability issues – economic, environmental and social aspects,
• Identify R&D demand,
• Conclude and summarize future perspectives, and
• Presentations and contributions at conferences.



  1. Expert-Workshop 1
  2. Expert-Workshop 2
  3. ExCo- und OA-Meetings

"2020 – 2030 will be the century of battery electric buses in urban environment."

– Gerfried Jungmeier –


The results are the following key issues for battery electric buses:
• Key drivers: climate protection and decarbonisation of the transportation sector, improvement of air quality, the European Green Vehicle Directive,
• Technological aspects: battery electric buses and adequate charging systems for depot or opportunity charging on the road are available on the market,
• Experiences from demonstration projects:
o Paradigm shift from vehicle procurement to system procurement,
o Early stakeholder involvement in the planning and joint feasibility study necessary,
o IT supporting fleet monitoring to optimise operation,
o Integrating e-bus services into the overall city transport decarbonisation/defossilisation strategy,
• Rolling out of battery electric bus fleets in the Netherlands: Amsterdam and Eindhoven have the most innovative and biggest e-bus fleet in Europe,
• Performance indicators: operating costs, energy consumption, charging and overall system performance,
• Environmental aspects: life cycle assessment necessary to determine environmental impacts. Battery electric buses are most energy efficient bus system and the use of additional renewable electricity maximizes the environmental benefits,
• Economic aspects: In the baseline situation the total costs of the different bus systems are:
o E-bus system with
 depot charging 1.2 €/km,
 opportunity charging 1.0 €/km,
o Hydrogen bus system using renewable hydrogen from electrolysis 1.9 €/km,
o Diesel bus system 0.9 €/km,
• R&D issues: fleet management, heating and cooling systems and strategies, inductive charging at stations/road, high power charging 1 MW and higher, light weight vehicles,
• Dissemination: several dissemination activities were undertaken , and
• Outlook: the expectation is “that 2020 – 2030 will be the century of battery electric buses in urban environment”.