Techno-economic analysis of energy supply to personal rapid transit (PRT) systems

Gur Mittelman, Yaron Kariv, Yuval Cohen, Erel Avineri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is an innovative form of urban transportation which might provide an alternative to car use. PRT is conceptualized by an array of autonomous pods, providing shared riding service to a small number of travelers per vehicle, on a dedicated guideway. PRT is considered by many to be a travel mode that reduces energy use and emissions levels, compared with traditional cars. To evaluate the cost effectiveness and benefits associated with the energy consumed by a typical urban PRT system, a detailed techno-economic analysis of two energy supply alternatives is presented. The technologies considered are: battery storage and third-rail conductors. This paper demonstrates a methodological approach to evaluate PRT energy costs, illustrated by a case study: the city of Herzliya (ISR). First, a PRT system model was developed, including both infrastructure design and operational characteristics, with a total track length of 12.5 km. Then, vehicles tractive and grid energy requirements were derived from the case study data using rigid body mechanics and lumped powertrain properties. Following, an economic evaluation was carried out taking into account capital costs as well as operating costs based on tractive, auxiliary and parasitic energy requirements. In both cases, the energy consumption is about 0.08 [kWh/p-km], while the energy costs are 0.031 and 0.100 [$/p-km] for the battery and third rail, respectively. Future research is discussed in the directions of further modeling development and extending the scope of alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118006
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Battery storage
  • Energy consumption
  • Energy usage
  • Personal rapid transit
  • Third-rail


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