GRA
Posts: 12273
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:31 pm

smkettner wrote:That is what we need a big hydrogen depot in Yosemite National Park. I don't think so.

IMO electric is the answer but I don't think they can even agree on getting electric to the campsites for eliminating RV generators.
Hardly necessary to build a 'big depot". The Park Service has been removing infrastructure from Yosemite Valley where they can; the Valley Gas station was taken out at least a decade ago. Most facilities removed from the Valley have been re-located to El Portal. Of course, you could just bring a trailer into the Valley, with or without the necessary compression and cooling gear, if that were desirable.

The Park Service has absolutely no desire to electrify camgrounds.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 12273
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:26 pm

RegGuheert wrote:
TonyWilliams wrote:In other words, it's complete hypocrisy to suggest that because there is not an adequate electric supply, that hydrogen somehow the answer over electric vehicles.
But clearly H2 FCVs are the only solution to practically every transportation application given that BEVs are only capable of travelling short distances at low speeds on flat roads in warm climates. :roll:

But I'm sure GRA will, as is usual, be here soon to claim that he meant to imply nothing of the sort when he wrote this:
GRA wrote:I'd think this is a good match for BEV buses, given the slow speeds, single flat route and limited distance covered, as well as the generally warm temps in the months the shuttles are operating.
He comes here daily to promote H2 but expects us to accept his insistence that he is promoting BEVs also when his "positive" statements are back-handed compliments like this one.

As Tony said, when all is said and done, there will be very few, if any, applications left over for H2 FCV buses once BEVs have taken all the rest.
And here I am, repeating nonsense as usual. As it happens, having done some finer calcs, I now think BEV buses might be suitable for the winter shuttle runs from the Valley to Badger Pass, but still have my doubts about their efficacy for the Tioga Road and Glacier Pt. shuttles, given the usage patterns and lack of electric infrastructure.

Here's the details, for anyone who's interested in them. Assuming they haven't changed anything signficantly, the winter bus from the Valley to Badger arrives there from the Valley at 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. each day, and leaves Badger to return at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. You sign up beforehand, so they know how many buses to schedule at each time. It's 23 miles and 3,400' of elevation change each way, and each bus makes 1 1/2 round trips in the morning (Valley-Badger-Valley-Badger), sits at Badger until 2:00 p.m., then does another 1.5 round trips in the afternoon (Badger-Valley-Badger-Valley), and then overnights in the Valley. So, the day is divided into two periods each of 69 miles, which includes 8,800 feet of climb and 3,400' of descent in the morning, and 8,800' of descent/3,400 feet of climb in the afternoon. The bus will require heating/defrost, and it must be able to make the trip using chains.

If the bus has enough range to do all 138 miles on a single charge in the above conditions, charging overnight in the Valley where the infrastructure can support it, great. But if it can't do so, it would need to charge at Badger during the 2.5 hour period it parks there, and the question then becomes is there enough excess electrical capacity at Badger to provide enough charge for the afternoon in that period (assuming that installing one or more charge points issn't too much hassle)? If not, is the Park Service likely to be willing to do an infrastructure upgrade to allow it (IME, highly unlikely).

In that case, an FCEV may be the better ZEV choice. I suspect that the Park Service might opt for an FCEV over a BEV if the BEV needed to use a fuel-fired heater to have adequate range, as they're more likely to opt for a full ZEV solution than a purely commercial calculation might suggest, assuming that the TCO is reasonably close.

The usage situation of the Glacier Pt. and especially the Tioga Road shuttles is very different from this. They use smaller buses similar to this: http://midamericacoach.com/cms/wp-conte ... hot-SM.jpg, not the full size ones that are used on the Valley-Badger shuttle. There's very limited infrastructure, and the buses run continuously from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tioga Road. (for comparison, the Glacier Pt. shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.). The distance is 11.5 miles each way, with about a 500 foot gain or loss, 12 scheduled and potentially some unscheduled stops (you can ask to be let off or flag them down anywhere along the corridor) and 30 minute headways which require a minimum of two buses to service it, not counting the twice daily runs from Tuolumne Meadows Lodge to Tioga Pass (7.3 miles/1,345 feet one way) and back, which require another. So each regular shuttle bus makes 12 round trip runs, or 12*23 = 256 miles daily, with 6,000' elevation gain/loss. Heat's only needed on the early morning runs, and maybe late afternoon runs in fall, but there's simply no time to stop to charge between runs given the existing infrastructure and short dwell times. I don't see current BEV buses having the range to manage this run, but an FCEV could, possibly with a fueling stop mid-day.

So, Reg, my doubts about the suitability of BEV buses on some routes are based on practical concerns, not due to favoring one tech over the other. If both are suitable in the particular situation, BEVs remain my first choice, as they're the most energy-efficient. Anywhere that BEV buses can do the job at the lowest TCO, they should be used, given the specific situation and allowing for any not strictly commercial requirements/desires of the Park Service, which has the final say. If BEVs were the obvious best solution for the job there would be no need to do a study. Admittedly, government agencies often do them in lieu of action - last night I was browsing through some old visitor guides from various National Parks I've visited, and came across the one from the last time I was in Zion (fall '92). It mentioned that the issue of auto congestion in Zion Canyon was becoming critical, that implementing a shuttle system had first been proposed and studied in the early '80s and it was hoped to start one 'soon', if they could find the money. They must have done so sometime between then and now, but the fact that it took so long when it was an obvious need isn't really surprising to me; even assuming the park's fully behind it as was the case there, they still have to get it funded.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:11 pm

Thanks for the details, GRA!

Let's remember that Li-ion batteries for BEVs are currently improving in terms of specific energy at a rate of over 9% per year. Doing a static calculation and then concluding
GRA wrote:I don't see current BEV buses having the range to manage this run, but an FCEV could, possibly with a fueling stop mid-day.
makes no sense to me. Why invest in costly, wasteful technology when the obvious solution is to use the BEVs where they fit today and use existing bus technology until the BEVs grow into any and all remaining roles?
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

GRA
Posts: 12273
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:49 pm

RegGuheert wrote:Thanks for the details, GRA!

Let's remember that Li-ion batteries for BEVs are currently improving in terms of specific energy at a rate of over 9% per year. Doing a static calculation and then concluding
GRA wrote:I don't see current BEV buses having the range to manage this run, but an FCEV could, possibly with a fueling stop mid-day.
makes no sense to me. Why invest in costly, wasteful technology when the obvious solution is to use the BEVs where they fit today and use existing bus technology until the BEVs grow into any and all remaining roles?
If multiplication of types isn't an issue I'd agree with you, but usually it is, and re-roleing occurs frequently. That being the case, a single, more versatile (because longer-ranged) type may be cheaper than multiple specialized types. And of course, fuel cells have also improved rapidly in both price and performance, and are currently doing so faster than batteries. As you should know by now, while I prefer the most energy-efficient tech AOTBE, I'm perfectly willing to opt for a less energy-efficient one if it's available sooner. I'd rather see ZEVs appear sooner rather than later in areas like National Parks (particularly areas like Yosemite Valley or Zion Canyon, where the walls hold smog in, and the limited road net makes for stop and go parking lots during summer that make air quality really unhealthy), even if a more energy-efficient option may be available 'someday'. Those somedays tend to be long enough out that an entire generation (or two) of vehicles using the interim tech may live out their lifetimes. As an example, I'm really glad that Yosemite opted to replace the diesel shuttles they formerly used along Tioga Road with HEV shuttles some years back. That was certainly preferable to waiting until the 'ideal' tech was available 'someday' (not yet), and the same goes for replacing the HEVs with ZEVs at the earliest possible date, whether BEV or FCEV. I much prefer not being able to smell anything as the shuttles pass.

There's also the YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transit) bus service, which isn't affiliated with the park service or the Concessioner, but does provide long distance travel to/through the park. Those would have to be done with FCEVs for at least the next few years, should they be looking/required to change. As to making use of limited electrical infrastructure, at the moment I'd rather see that used to provide destination charging for cars, as people will still use those primarily, and most PHEVs now will have enough range to completely exit the park from any point in it while running solely on the battery, as well as doing most/all in-park driving on it. Gen 2 BEVs will obviously have no problems. Some people will ride the shuttles, but others won't or can't (I often have to use my car because I'm out hiking before the shuttles start running, or after they've finished).
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:11 am

GRA wrote:If multiplication of types isn't an issue I'd agree with you, but usually it is, and re-rolling occurs frequently.
Good, then we agree. You, yourself, just said this:
GRA wrote:The usage situation of the Glacier Pt. and especially the Tioga Road shuttles is very different from this. They use smaller buses similar to this: http://midamericacoach.com/cms/wp-conte ... hot-SM.jpg, not the full size ones that are used on the Valley-Badger shuttle.
So, no need to multiply types. There are already two.
GRA wrote:That being the case, a single, more versatile (because longer-ranged) type may be cheaper than multiple specialized types.
You just said there were already two types. Now you think they should go to one? Makes no sense.
GRA wrote:And of course, fuel cells have also improved rapidly in both price and performance, and are currently doing so faster than batteries.
So? H2 FCVs are far behind BEVs and there is NO crossover point.
GRA wrote:I'd rather see ZEVs appear sooner rather than later in areas like National Parks (particularly areas like Yosemite Valley or Zion Canyon, where the walls hold smog in, and the limited road net makes for stop and go parking lots during summer that make air quality really unhealthy), even if a more energy-efficient option may be available 'someday'.
Fine. If you MUST do it now, BEVs will STILL be less expensive than H2 FCVs even if you have to purchase more of them to meet the need. Better yet, just swap the batteries, as Tony has suggested. As you pointed out, the routes are trivial. The task only gets challenging if you string them all together and require it to be done with a single machine. Going with a BEV-only solution today will minimize the construction of infrastructure and equipment which will soon be stranded while also reducing the amount of energy that needs to be brought into the valley. No need to expand the electricity grid or truck H2 into the valley. And no need to store volatile chemicals at high pressures, either.

No, there is no need to shoehorn H2 FCVs into Yosemite when BEV buses will handle the job better and cheaper today.[quote="GRA"']There's also the YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transit) bus service, which isn't affiliated with the park service or the Concessioner, but does provide long distance travel to/through the park. Those would have to be done with FCEVs for at least the next few years, should they be looking/required to change.[/quote]No, your other standby "It's better than a BEV" technology would be a much better fit here: PHEV buses. Run on CNG until you get to the valley and then switch to battery power while in the park.
GRA wrote:As to making use of limited electrical infrastructure, at the moment I'd rather see that used to provide destination charging for cars, as people will still use those primarily, and most PHEVs now will have enough range to completely exit the park from any point in it while running solely on the battery, as well as doing most/all in-park driving on it. Gen 2 BEVs will obviously have no problems. Some people will ride the shuttles, but others won't or can't (I often have to use my car because I'm out hiking before the shuttles start running, or after they've finished).
Actually, we should probably ban everything except longer-range BEVs from our parks to avoid the need to upgrade the electrical grid and to prevent the possibility of our national treasures from being damaged by an H2 explosion.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

User avatar
TonyWilliams
Posts: 10091
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 am
Location: San Diego
Contact: Website

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:48 am

Without knowing all the details of the park, clearly a battery hybrid like the Wright trucks would work.

Just use a small natural gas / propane / alcohol / diesel / biofuel turbine generator to supplement any battery shortfall. But, as Reg said, it's a little nutty to plan for complicated when the batteries are improving so fast.

Every time that bus is stopped, it should be getting charged... fast.

GRA
Posts: 12273
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:48 pm

RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:If multiplication of types isn't an issue I'd agree with you, but usually it is, and re-rolling occurs frequently.
Good, then we agree. You, yourself, just said this:
GRA wrote:The usage situation of the Glacier Pt. and especially the Tioga Road shuttles is very different from this. They use smaller buses similar to this: http://midamericacoach.com/cms/wp-conte ... hot-SM.jpg, not the full size ones that are used on the Valley-Badger shuttle.
So, no need to multiply types. There are already two.
GRA wrote:That being the case, a single, more versatile (because longer-ranged) type may be cheaper than multiple specialized types.
You just said there were already two types. Now you think they should go to one? Makes no sense.
Actually, there are at least three types in use that I know about, the above two plus the open top tour buses used in the Valley during the summer, similar to the shuttles in Zion Canyon. You seemed to be suggesting that we should add the same type using different types of powertrain. Ideally, if you can get down to a single powertrain tech, the TCO may be less than having multiple types, even if the latter may be individually lower cost in their specific niche. This is exactly what happened with early BEV trucks, which were used in combination with gas trucks and/or horses, each in their own niche. It was cheaper to replace them all with gas trucks and keep one stock of spares/do one type of maintenance even though each individually was cheaper in its niche.
RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:And of course, fuel cells have also improved rapidly in both price and performance, and are currently doing so faster than batteries.
So? H2 FCVs are far behind BEVs and there is NO crossover point.
They are behind in areas of cost and efficiency, yes, but not in cost reduction, range (especially winter), and refueling time. Being at an earlier stage of development, they are on a steeper part of the development curve than batteries are. You mentioned a 9% average annual increase in specific energy for batteries, but the current generation (Mirai/Clarity) of fuel cells improved their power density by 100% over the previous generation ( about 5 or 6 years). Price decreases were also greater than batteries, 95% over 10 years (roughly 2003-2013). Toyota thinks they can get that down another 80% (and need to) by 2020-2024 (I forget which). Battery prices aren't coming down that fast, and won't barring a breakthrough, while fuel cells are mainly able to achieve major improvements by refining current tech. As they get more mature the improvement rate will slow down, natch, and may have different priority areas, perhaps emphasizing increased longevity, ramp rates or something else over power density.
RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:I'd rather see ZEVs appear sooner rather than later in areas like National Parks (particularly areas like Yosemite Valley or Zion Canyon, where the walls hold smog in, and the limited road net makes for stop and go parking lots during summer that make air quality really unhealthy), even if a more energy-efficient option may be available 'someday'.
Fine. If you MUST do it now, BEVs will STILL be less expensive than H2 FCVs even if you have to purchase more of them to meet the need.
Your assertion is unsupported by evidence; If that were known to be correct there would be no need to do the study, they could just pull a BEV bus off-the-shelf and go on their merry way.
RegGuheert wrote:Better yet, just swap the batteries, as Tony has suggested. As you pointed out, the routes are trivial. The task only gets challenging if you string them all together and require it to be done with a single machine. Going with a BEV-only solution today will minimize the construction of infrastructure and equipment which will soon be stranded while also reducing the amount of energy that needs to be brought into the valley. No need to expand the electricity grid or truck H2 into the valley. And no need to store volatile chemicals at high pressures, either.
Um, just where are you going to build this battery swap facility, and how much will it cost? It didn't exactly prove to be a cost-effective solution for Tesla and their owners. As for stranding H2 infrastructure, that only happens if it doesn't catch on, and the same goes for BEV buses. Neither is yet at the stage where they can claim dominance over their rivals. Personally, if they go the H2/FCEV route I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were to build H2 fueling facilities in El Portal (Yosemite) and Springdale (Zion), just outside the park, as it's been NPS policy for a couple of decades now to move as much of their and concessioner administrative personnel, as well as infrastructure, outside the parks to a gateway community. I'm sure that NPS would love to be able to remove the three remaining gas stations in Yosemite from the park, as they did with the one in the Valley, but I'm guessing that they concluded they'd have too many people running out of gas, clogging the roads and needing fuel.
RegGuheert wrote:No, there is no need to shoehorn H2 FCVs into Yosemite when BEV buses will handle the job better and cheaper today.
Again, an assertion unsupported by evidence. I'll wait on the study.
RegGuheert wrote:[quote="GRA"']There's also the YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transit) bus service, which isn't affiliated with the park service or the Concessioner, but does provide long distance travel to/through the park. Those would have to be done with FCEVs for at least the next few years, should they be looking/required to change.
No, your other standby "It's better than a BEV" technology would be a much better fit here: PHEV buses. Run on CNG until you get to the valley and then switch to battery power while in the park.[/quote]Certainly the lowest cost option, but not a ZEV one. PHEVs would be the purely commercial choice, FCEVs would put more weight on the ZEV angle. I'd be happy with either, and since YARTS is an independent entity I'd expect them to go with PHEVs as making the most commercial sense now.
RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:As to making use of limited electrical infrastructure, at the moment I'd rather see that used to provide destination charging for cars, as people will still use those primarily, and most PHEVs now will have enough range to completely exit the park from any point in it while running solely on the battery, as well as doing most/all in-park driving on it. Gen 2 BEVs will obviously have no problems. Some people will ride the shuttles, but others won't or can't (I often have to use my car because I'm out hiking before the shuttles start running, or after they've finished).
Actually, we should probably ban everything except longer-range BEVs from our parks to avoid the need to upgrade the electrical grid and to prevent the possibility of our national treasures from being damaged by an H2 explosion.
[/quote]
As opposed to any other kind of explosion, as well as wildfires? You should smell the multi-thousand gallon above-ground diesel tank at the Crane Flat gas station, which provides electrical power via a genset to run the station (and is why I rejected recommending it as a possible recharging site when I was scoping out potential ones along S.R. 120 back in 2012; White Wolf was rejected for the same reason). The sooner we can stop worrying about ground water contamination from fuel tank leaks in national parks, the happier I'll be. That obviously wouldn't be an issue with H2.

As to banning anything but longer-ranged BEVs (or FCEVs) and moving all fueling/charging infrastructure outside the park, I expect that will happen right after we implement the 1980 Yosemite Draft General Management Plan that would ban all private cars from the Valley during high season except those that had a campsite or lodging reservation - they would have to drive directly to their campsite/lodging and then park their car for the duration of their stay. Everyone else would have to park in the 700 car parking lot to be constructed at Taft Toe near the west end of the Valley, forcing everyone to ride shuttle buses from that point. The ultimate goal was to eventually exclude all private cars from the Valley, establishing staging areas well outside it (El Portal and Crane Flat) where people would park and transfer to shuttle buses. I'm still waiting for that and most everything else in that 1980 plan to be implemented. My copy's in a box somewhere, but here you go (page 8): https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 1up;seq=14
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 12273
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:00 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:Without knowing all the details of the park, clearly a battery hybrid like the Wright trucks would work.

Just use a small natural gas / propane / alcohol / diesel / biofuel turbine generator to supplement any battery shortfall. But, as Reg said, it's a little nutty to plan for complicated when the batteries are improving so fast.

Every time that bus is stopped, it should be getting charged... fast.
Which would require upgrading electrical infrastructure, and the Park Service is trying to reduce infrastructure inside the parks, and (always) to eliminate non-natural features from view.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

User avatar
LTLFTcomposite
Posts: 4780
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:06 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Central FL

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:18 pm

What do you suppose Elon Musk is talking about for a Tesla bus? They mentioned no aisle. My guess is it's a bus with lots of doors (hopefully not falcon wing) so you just open a door on an available seat and get in. Forcing everyone through one or two doors really doesn't make sense.
LTL
White 2012 SV delivered 10 Dec 2011 returned 25 Nov 2014 replaced with stopgap ICE Sentra
[35 months] [35K miles] [9 Bars]
2013 Volt replaced after 36 months/30k miles with ICE Rogue
2016 SV-adjacent May 2016 lost 4th bar March 2018

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Battery-electric bus discussion

Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:36 pm

GRA wrote:Which would require upgrading electrical infrastructure, and the Park Service is trying to reduce infrastructure inside the parks, and (always) to eliminate non-natural features from view.
If that's true, then BEVs really are the only solution. It makes absolutely no sense to build $2M hydrogen refueling stations in each of these parks. BEVs can be charged by consuming electricity from existing transmission lines when other loads are minimized.

As I said above, that $2M plus the vehicle cost savings can be put to purchasing a few more of the smaller shuttles to allow some to be at the depot charging while others are out. Then the massive savings on fuel will be gravy on top of all that. There is not place for H2 FCV in our national parks. That's why the article you posted said they were purchasing BEVs. There was absolutely no justification for you to pollute this bread with FCV nonsense while posting that article about BEV buses.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Return to “Other Electric Cars & Plug-In Hybrids”