Cost-benefit analysis of alternative vehicle technologies for the urban bus system in Thailand

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Krit Jedwanna
Jakapong Pongthanaisawan


Environmental impacts from the transport sector have been a critical issue in urban areas for more than two decades. Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is one of the biggest megacities in developing countries that is also concerned with this issue. In order to reduce air pollution and mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) emission, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) initiated a policy to promote alternative clean technology vehicles by replacing the conventional diesel buses, with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and electric buses. This paper discusses the economic feasibility for Bangkok, Thailand by the total cost of ownership (TCO) and cost-benefit analysis (CBA) for three alternative technologies for the bus system in Bangkok: diesel, CNG, and electric buses. The TCO of electric vehicles was 8% higher than CNG buses, but it was 10% lower than diesel buses. However, the operating cost of electric buses, including energy costs, operating cost, tax and insurance, was higher than the others. The study showed that in Bangkok’s conditions, the net present value (NPV) for electric buses was 2 times higher than diesel buses, but it was 6% lower than that of compressed natural gas buses, when externality costs were excluded. However, when external costs of pollution were included, the NPV of electric buses was 2.5 times higher than diesel buses and 13% higher than CNG buses.

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