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Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:40 pm
by GRA
Via GCC:
Emirates Transport to launch the first electric school bus in the UAE; air conditioner efficiency a point of focus ... 21-et.html
Emirates Transport (ET), the UAE government owned public transport provider, recently launched the final phase of testing for the first electric-powered school bus in the region. The 45-seater bus was manufactured in close cooperation with the Shanghai Sunwin Bus Cooperation.

During the pilot phase, the bus will operate on full routes in conditions that accurately simulate the normal school bus's daily journeys, as well as daily operating conditions. Amer Al Harmoudi, executive director of ET’s Auto Services Division, said that one of the most important technical factors during the manufacturing phase was adjusting the efficiency of the air conditioning system to suit the specific climatic conditions in the country and the nature of operation in school transport.

Fadil Atallah, manager of ET’s Technical Development Department, said that the current distance travelled by the bus is 100 km (62 miles), and that is under harsh and optimum operating conditions, including maximum power operation of air conditioning systems and all other electronics. The distance travelled under normal operating conditions is 150 km (93 miles).

In order to provide the supporting infrastructure for the operation of the bus, Al Harmoudi said there will be two fully integrated bus power stations, one at a location of the manufacturer’s UAE partner, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE), and the other at an Emirates Transport bus terminal, adding that the current system is capable of fully charging the bus batteries in just 4 hours. . . .

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:31 pm
by GRA
Via GCC:
Yosemite first US national park to purchase electric buses from Proterra ... emtie.html
Yosemite National Park will add two Proterra Catalyst electric buses to its fleet. Yosemite is the first US National Park to add zero-emission buses to its shuttle fleet permanently. . . .

With more than five million visitors each year, Yosemite has seen its free shuttle service travel annually 436,000 miles with 3.8 million boardings. In 2001, the park began replacing its diesel bus fleet with diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. Yosemite is now taking the next steps toward a state-of-the-art clean transportation system with the adoption of Proterra battery-electric buses.

The new Catalyst buses are expected annually to reduce 887,000 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions and save approximately $150,500 on maintenance and operating costs. They will begin service in late 2018 and will operate year-round, transporting up to 1,480 visitors per day through the park’s Yosemite Valley.
For a discussion of the operating requirements and infrastructure issues in Yosemite, see the series of posts starting here: ... 60#p465843

I'm very curious to see if they are going to limit usage to just the Valley shuttles, or else also try to use them eventually for Glacier Pt./Badger Pass runs (esp. in winter), as discussed at length in the exchange above. Unfortunately, Proterra's press release doesn't say which model of Catalyst the park will be using, so it's impossible to guess. I'd think they'd want the XR or more likely the E2, as that way they won't need to charge during the day.

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:04 pm
by LTLFTcomposite
Something is amiss with Park City's Proterra Catalysts on the electric express route. About half the buses appear to be out of service and diesel buses substituted :-(

Nighttime temps have been flirting with single digits. I wonder if the combination of cabin heat and decreased capacity has caused an issue.

Does look like they have a second on route charging station under construction at old town center.

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:23 pm
by GRA
Via ABG:
U.S. transit agencies cautious on electric buses despite bold forecasts
Analysts predict a boom in electric fleets. ... new-flyer/
LOS ANGELES — Communities across the United States are looking to replace their dirty diesel buses, ushering in what some analysts predict will be a boom in electric fleets. But transit agencies doing the buying are moving cautiously, an analysis by Reuters shows. Out of more than 65,000 public buses plying U.S. roads today, just 300 are electric. Among the challenges: EVs are expensive, have limited range and are unproven on a mass scale.

A typical 40-foot electric bus costs around $750,000, compared with about $435,000 for a diesel bus. Cheaper fuel and maintenance expenses can lower the overall costs over the 12-year life of the vehicles. But those costs can widely depending on utility rates, terrain and weather. The technology is still a gamble for many cities at a time when bus ridership is falling nationwide and officials are trying to keep a lid on fares, says Chris Stoddart, an executive at Canadian bus maker New Flyer Industries Inc. . . .

Rival electric bus manufacturers expect dramatic growth; the most ambitious forecasts call for all bus purchases to be electric by 2030. But even green-energy advocates are skeptical of such rosy predictions. CALSTART, a California-based nonprofit that promotes clean transportation, figures 50 percent to 60 percent of new buses will be zero emissions by 2030. Market research firm Navigant Research expects electric buses to make up 27 percent of new U.S. bus sales by 2027.

Not quite there yet

Transit agencies have found EV performance lags in extreme conditions. In environmentally friendly San Francisco, officials have resisted electrics over concerns about the city's famously steep hills. "The technology isn't quite there yet," Erica Kato, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said in a statement.

Weather is also a major challenge.

An electric bus tested last year near Phoenix wilted in the summer heat due to the strains of running the air conditioning. The vehicle never achieved more than 89.9 miles on a charge, less than two-thirds of its advertised range, according to a report by the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority.

In Massachusetts, two agencies running small numbers of electric buses — the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority in Springfield and Worcester's Regional Transit Authority — say the vehicles weaken in extreme cold and snow. They have no plans to acquire additional EVs, officials at those agencies said. . . .

[Proterra] Chief Executive Ryan Popple said range is improving quickly. The company is currently shipping models with up to 350 miles of range, but new battery technology is expected to boost that by nearly 30 percent.

"We're starting to outstrip the market requirement in terms of what city buses actually do," Popple said. "It opens up new markets for us. . . ."

Despite the technology's limitations, some U.S. transit agencies are hitting the accelerator on their electric conversions. IndyGo, which serves greater Indianapolis, has struck a deal with BYD to purchase 31 electric buses, with the option to add dozens more, in addition to the 21 already in its fleet . . . Agency spokesman Bryan Luellen said the EVs have reduced fuel and maintenance costs by up to half compared to conventional buses.

Foothill Transit, in Southern California, has been operating Proterra buses since 2010. It now has 17 in its fleet, with 13 more scheduled to arrive before the end of the year, according to spokeswoman Felicia Friesema. Still, both agencies acknowledged tradeoffs due to the limited range of these vehicles. Foothill has mainly confined its electric buses to a short 16-mile route. The Indianapolis EVs run primarily during the morning and evening rush hours, not all day long like the diesel workhorses that remain the mainstay of the fleet. . . .

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:26 pm
by LTLFTcomposite
Heard from a friend all six of Park City's Proterra buses were out of service today on account of snow. Not the sort of resilience that instills confidence.

While this ski town may have environmentally forward thinking leadership it may not be the best place to showcase the technology... OTOH maybe Proterra wants it as a stress test. If so it would appear they have accomplished their goal. Hopefully they have fixes.

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:41 am
by RegGuheert
LTLFTcomposite wrote:Heard from a friend all six of Park City's Proterra buses were out of service today on account of snow.
I guess I'm struggling to parse that statement. I can think of a bunch of different interpretations. Here are the ones that jump to mind:

Possible reasons caused by limitations of the buses themselves:
L1) Proterra buses do not have the range to drive their routes when they have to push through snow.
L2) Proterra buses are equipped with low-rolling-resistance tires which have terrible traction in the snow.
L3) Proterra buses are unable to charge when there is snow on the ground.
L4) All six Proterra buses broke down not long after the snow fell due to some design issue.

Possible reasons which have absolutely nothing to do with the capabilities of the buses themselves:
O1) Park City has a long-standing policy which dictates that they ONLY run their lowest-value buses on snowy days due to the higher rate of accidents that occur.
O2) Park City has never driven their electric buses in the snow before and they are taking this opportunity to evaluate how they do in those conditions before committing them to route service.
O3) The interiors of some buses in Park City's fleet are much easier to clean than those of others.
O4) Park City does not want to get their shiny new electric buses all dirty.

If I were in charge of scheduling the buses there, I would certainly do something like O1 to minimize losses in bad weather. This would make a lot of sense, but would not have been noticeable in the past when all buses were diesel. I know that when our LEAF was new, we never took it out in the snow.

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:18 am
by LTLFTcomposite
I assumed it was either Russian collusion or the charging thingy on the roof collected too much snow.
The local paper certainly had articles featuring the introduction of these buses, in the interest of telling the whole story it would be nice if they also reported on the failings.

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:11 pm
by GRA
Via GCR:
Shenzhen now uses only electric buses: 16,500 of them ... 00-of-them
. . . According to Shenzhen Daily, an English-language paper in the city, Shenzhen is the first city to have an all-electric bus fleet in the world. It also claims to have the largest electric bus fleet, with 16,359 buses in operation, and the largest fleet of electric taxis, with 12,518 electric vehicles representing 62.5 percent of that overall fleet.

“We will gradually replace the existing fuel-powered cabs with electricity-powered ones and complete the target by 2020, or even ahead of schedule,” said Zheng Jingyu, head of the public transport department of the city’s public transport administration bureau. To support the massive fleet of electric buses, the city has installed 501 bus charging stations and 8,000 charging poles around the city and in bus stations.

This is how the new buses and taxis compare to their conventional counterparts with regards to energy use, according to Shenzhen Daily:
  • The electric buses use 72.9 percent less energy than diesel buses. In a year, the buses could save the energy equivalent of 366,000 tons of standard coal, replacing 345,000 tons of fuel, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.35 million tons. The e-taxis will save the energy equivalent of 119,000 tons of standard coal, replacing 116,000 tons of fuel. . . .

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm
by GRA
Via GCC:
Proterra electric bus to begin 4-month trial in Anchorage, Alaska next week ... terra.html
The Municipality of Anchorage’s (MOA) Public Transportation Department (PTD) will put a new 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 electric/battery powered bus on trial next week. The bus will begin serving routes for the general public for a four-month trial period.

The four-month trial period will test how the bus performs in winter weather, how cold temperatures affect the battery life and whether it’s feasible to pursue an electric bus fleet in the future. PTD partnered with MOA’s Solid Waste Services (SWS) to lease the bus. SWS will also be monitoring its performance to help establish the feasibility of electric garbage trucks. . . .

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:58 pm
by GRA
Via GCC:
New York to test and evaluate 5 New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE electric buses ... 1-mta.html
. . . The program will begin January 2018.

The program introduces leased zero-emission buses and rapid chargers to the NYCT network. The MTA will use program results to refine and develop requirements for future electric bus procurements, and to also ensure buses are fully able to meet the rigors of operating in New York City.

For the program, New Flyer integrated battery technology from XALT Energy with high-efficiency electric motors and rapid overhead charging systems from Siemens. . . .

New Flyer also partnered with Black & Veatch, a leader in engineering and construction of complex charging networks for fleets nationwide, to deploy the high-power charging infrastructure both on-route and in the depot.

The program will operate across the NYCT system, with the option to rapidly recharge buses at either end of the route. The on-route rapid charging system used by New Flyer and Siemens allows battery-electric buses to operate continuously without returning to a depot for recharging. Similar New Flyer buses and charging systems are anticipated to follow in Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Boston in 2018.
. . .