GRA wrote:If BEV buses can do the job at the lowest TCO, then by all means. AVTA apparently serves Lancaster and Palmdale. Judging by the system map the routes are fairly short, and cold weather obviously isn't a problem, so this seems a very good match for BEV buses.
Plus they have in-the-ground inductive charging at the bus stops.
All very simple with "today" technology. Sorry Charlie, but hydrogen isn't going to take this market over from EVs. There was a window of opportunity, and it appears to have all but closed (except for grossly subsidized hydrogen programs).
Municipal buses (even in cold areas) can easily be upgraded for longer range... bio fuel cabin heaters, insulation around the heated batteries, maybe slightly larger packs to get the same job done as the summer months.
Any bus district could put a quick charger on every street corner for the price of just the maintenance on one hydrogen facility.
Uh, you've seen the cost figures that would prove that? And the TCOs on both techs? ISTM that most transit operators and the manufacturers are still at the real-world data-gathering stage. Both techs remain immature with a lot of long term unknowns, FCEVs more so. It's unquestionably true that BEVs are more suited when the range is less, and FCEVs are at their best at longer ranges, simply because of the way weight increases on both of them. With BEVs, more range takes a lot more weight, less range less. With FCEVs (as with liquid fueled ICEs), most of the weight is in the power systems, and adding more fuel adds relatively little. So, for local bus runs, as long as a BEV has the necessary performance it's the go to choice. For long distance runs, with high speeds, few stops and short dwell times, the FCEV is currently superior.
I agree about the fuel-fired heaters, though, that would certainly help BEV buses (and BEVs in general) in cold climates, and I can't figure out why no manufacturer (other than Volvo IIRR) has offered this on a BEV, bus or other. Whether it would give BEV buses the range to deal with long, cold and/or steep rural routes and have lower TCOs, who knows? No one here does, unless you have access to cost figures that the rest of us don't.
What's the cost of adding bigger packs, just for winter? That's a lot of capital sitting around most of the year, so you might want it on the buses year round, but that adds to capital and maintenance costs (batteries being heavy, more drivetrain and suspension wear, more powerful motor needed for same performance etc. etc.).
None of the current gen of BEV/PHEV/FCEV buses have been in revenue service for an entire lifetime, so all the TCO claims for them remain predictions instead of fact, barring a turn-key contract like the one that Volvo recently signed with a transit agency in Luxembourg. In that case, all the TCO risk is on Volvo, as the agency is just paying a fixed monthly cost for the use of 5 PHEV buses for a certain period of time, and it's up to Volvo to make sure they provide the number required, do all the maintenance etc. If Volvo's predictions are wrong, they take a bath. Luxembourg has been using Volvo HEV buses since 2011, so moving to PHEVs is a pretty small risk. It's claimed that up to 70% of the running can be on batteries, with chargers (roof mounted pantographs for the connection) located at the ends of routes.
I don't know that any BEV or FCEV bus manufacturer has enough knowledge now that would give them the confidence to offer such a package - is anyone aware of such a contract?
BTW, does anyone know if BYD's "12 year" battery warranty includes capacity? I've never seen this confirmed, and AFAICT it's just parts and materials. ISTM that the most important issue for BEV bus TCO is whether or not the pack can last the 12 year lifetime of the average transit bus or whether you need at least one pack replacement, and the cost of same. Ditto for the stack in an FCEV.