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Author Topic: Electric bus  (Read 7500 times)
coconut990
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« on: March 28, 2011, 07:12:37 PM »

 I have been reading the posts on here all the time. I read about the cost to run. I have never read about anyone who have tried RV BUS that run on Electric motors A/C or DC Powertrain. I also been looking at electric cars with the new batteries at 200 to 900 AH. Would that be possible....
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 08:09:52 PM »

Hi! Im begining to convert a vw bus into electric to tow behind my big bus. As for the electric buses, any I have seen were very, very slow and required a HUGE battery bank. They arent practicle for me from what I have seen. I would much rather run the big bus off veggie oil and the little one off electric, but that's just me.
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The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post
paul102a3
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 03:35:12 AM »

Check out www.isecorp.com and also google "Siemens ELFA" for info on electric bus conversions. This is not an endorsement for the Siemens ELFA system and I have no affiliation with them other than I am a customer. I did have the ELFA system in a boat for the past 9 years running as a diesel electric hybrid.

The system is really neat in that it can use any AC power from 220 volt single phase to 670 volt three phase. The main source of power for our boat propulsion system was a variable speed 670 volt 3 phase generator coupled to a small Cummins diesel. I also tied our house generator (220 volt 1 phase) into the system as a backup so should the Cummins fail, I could still get home.

The down side to the Siemens system is cost, it is scary expensive. The upside is the components have a 50,000 hour mean time before failure so once you pay the upfront cost, service and maintenance virtually zero.



  
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 04:00:14 AM »

They are doing hybrid diesel/electric buses similiar to hybrid cars, but this really only makes sense from an MPG aspect for transit buses and commuter coaches that start and stop a lot.  Hybrid transit buses typically see about 20% better mileage in the city.  Financially, hybrid transit buses cost more over the life of the bus because it costs an extra $200,000 for the bus upfront.  Government owned transit systems are mostly doing hybrid buses to be politically correct.  They do cut emissions somewhat also.

For our use I don't think hybrid would save hardly anything in fuel since we are mostly on the highway.  A Toyota Prius gets worse MPG on the highway than in the city.  A former co-worker of mine would drive his Prius on city streets instead of the highway to get an extra 5 MPG.  (He was cheap and could easily afford the extra fuel if he wanted to.)
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
coconut990
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 06:52:02 AM »

  I understand about cost. The town where I live use electric buses with feul back up it is new and we would to pay more for it. I drove for Greyhound and those buses would only get from 6 to 9 miles per gallon tops I know we are carrying people just our families but we do carry our homes with us. That alone would the weight very close to a big truck and feul right now is about 60 cent per mile at best. Where would you save money. I did hear from a RVer who told me that he made money from having company names on the side of his RV. The cost of parking in parks and paying to dump tanks you could end up with about 90 cent per mile in cost........
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CrabbyMilton
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 09:15:18 AM »



I came across an article where some research company took a 3 year old FORD TAURUS and put in an electric motor. They tested this thing close to a year on a dynamometer simulating every temperature and driving condition one can imagine. This car succeeded in every test and the motor was more powerful than the V6 gasoline engine that the car came with. It never failed once and everyone involved was amazed and they felt that they really had something here.
So, they decided to take it out for a ride outside the test pod. They pulled it out and the thing konked out and they couldn’t get it to go. They looked at the motor and systems and nothing burnt up or failed but all of the hard work and testing along with the costs and time involved seemed to be for nothing. Upon further examination, it was found that the extension cord wasn’t long enough.
Yes I did make this up but you can see the point here. They say that the new CHEVROLET “DOLT” is no good.





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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 09:26:28 AM »

  Government owned transit systems are mostly doing hybrid buses to be politically correct. 


  Dont believe everything the MTC and the Minnesota Government tells you. Ive seen first hand how Minnesota Metro Transit took care of their equipment. We found Buses with less than 40K miles with blown motors in absolutely deplorable condition. As the Buses came with history reports, reading some of them were real eye rollers. If anyone in private industry were even half as negligent and felonious at running a Bus company they would be in prison. And that is not a joke. Emergency escape windows welded shut from the outside, emergency roof hatches blocked shut, air brake canisters blocked off/bypassed, cracked windows, bald tires, worn brake shoes, etc..

  Im sure they can make a hybrid Bus look good by hiding the real costs in other equipment. They been practicing how to do that for the last 4 or 5 decades.  
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 09:30:35 AM »

Buses and big trucks are extremely fuel efficient compared to a car.  My bus that gets an average of 5mpg at 34,750lbs when pulling my car, would equate to my Mercedes 300 turbo Diesel getting over 43mpg-but yet I average 25mpg with my car.  I just read a report of a Winnabagel motorhome that weighs 36,000lbs getting 8.1mpg-like my car getting over 73mpg.  At the top end is the 80,000lb trucks now getting in the 7.5 mpg range.  That's like my 4,000lb car getting 150mpg!  Just to make a point about fuel usage.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 11:05:49 AM »

 Im sure they can make a hybrid Bus look good by hiding the real costs in other equipment. They been practicing how to do that for the last 4 or 5 decades.  

I don't think they look good to anybody but the greenies until the price comes down.  Right now the up front capital cost is so high that they would have to drive them for many decades to have a lower total per mile cost than a conventional bus.

There have been many taxpayer comments asking why they are spending an extra $200,000 per bus when they don't save anywhere close to $20,000 a year in operating costs.  Transit buses have typically been replaced on a 12 year cycle.  Will the batteries last that long?  My co-worker just replaced the battery in his 2001 Prius for $3,100 at 150,000 miles.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 11:40:03 AM »

Folks, let's be real here.  OK, say that a BusConvert has a bus that's 30,000 lb.  He wants to go on a trip of 400 miles today.  How big would a battery to allow this be?  Answer, about the same size as a supermarket.  Little "overinflated golf-carts" get maybe 75 miles (and the last part of that with parlously puny power) on all the batteries that can be stuffed into them.  If a Chevy "Dolt" or a Nissan "Lead" is 4000 pounds and it goes 75 miles, you'd expect to see that same battery move a 30K# bus about 10.  The idea of an electric bus is a total joke.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 12:03:26 PM »

dont forget at what speed your 10 miles.... my guess is 3mph, at 65 probably 500 ft Grin
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CrabbyMilton
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 12:43:37 PM »

I've said it any number of times and I'll say it many more times. When they can come up with a cordless vacuum cleaner that doesn't run out of juice after 10 minutes, then I may be convinced that there will be an electic car or bus that can run as dependable and cost effective as a diesel or gasoline counterpart.
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 12:51:13 PM »

  We owned two Golf Cars, put new batteries in the one, charged it dilligently. Most will tell you they are really only good for about two trips around a golf course. If you pulled full power out of it and drove it full speed, I doubt many could clear 10 miles. They get much better range with more stop and go. But its certainly not free, and far from zero emission.

  If you drove to someones house and wanted to plug in, lets say you did that 5 days a week for a month and charged 4 hours each day. When they opened thier mail and saw the electric bill jump 200 KWH they would kindly tell you to stay away. Why do you think all the Golf courses went to gas powered cars?

  But lets look at this realistically. Lets install an electric motor onto the drive axle input. How many HP? I think you would need a motor of about 175 HP with at least 5,000 lb ft of starting torque. Man that would be a HUGE motor, and no doubt quite heavy. But the original motor and gearbox are gone, so you have some weight savings.

  We now need batteries to drive it. If your planning to drive out of town on a trip, lets try to give it 300 miles range. If we say 60 mph, we have a time of use in 300 miles, of 5 hours.

  1 HP = 745 watts. Lets assume the Bus requires 125 HP to maintain 60 mph. There will be some loss between batteries and the motor etc., lets just say 20% to give some cushion. We have 125 HP, times 745 watts per HP, plus 20%. times 5 hours. Im getting 558 KWH.

  Lets use Trojan T-105 batteries, rated at 225 AH. Each one can deliver 1350 watt hours, or 1.3 KWH. To leave some cushion, lets up the 558 KWK to 600. Your going to need 460 batteries.

  These weigh 62 pounds each, bot counting the rack and cables. Well hey, thats ONLY 28,615 pounds of batteries.  

  Wanna charge them now? How long you wanna wait? You will lose about 10% in charging, so lets say you have a 300 amp charger. 600 KWH, whats the motor voltage? Lets say 120 volt? Beats me, never saw a motor that big. 120 volts 300 amps, we get 36000 watts. Wow, thats a bada$$ charger. Youll need to charge back 600 KWH, plus 10%, 660 KWH, youll need to charge for 18.33 hours before you can leave. And you'll get an electric bill for about 700 KWH. At $0.09 KWH, thats about $63 plus tax and service, probably eat a $100 bill? At 10 mpg on diesel, and at $4 gal, it would cost $120.

  Discounting the cost of owning and maintaining 460 batteries environmental impact of the batteries in mining for lead and recycling, back at the power plant they will burn that amount of energy in coal to produce it. 3413 btu per KWH. Just an FYI, T-105's are about $115 each, so about $52K worth of batteries. Thats probably the cheapest source of battery power you could buy.

  1 pound coal = 8,100 btu. 1 pound coal = 2.3 KWH. Youll burn 304 pounds of coal. Not quite the non polluting highly efficient vehicle the greenies would like you to think it is.  
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Len Silva
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 01:08:49 PM »

The only economic advantage to any electric vehicle is dynamic regenerative (thank you Sean) braking and  being able to salvage some of the lost energy used in slowing down.

The only reason that trains use diesel-electric is that it makes a better high torque transmission.  If it were possible to connect the engine directly to the driven wheels, it would probably be more efficient.

So, hybrids may prove out for city commuters and perhaps local, light weight delivery, but not much else.

There may come a day, and I do believe that we should be spending money or R&D toward that end, but we are a long way away.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 04:39:14 AM by Len Silva » Logged


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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 01:46:00 PM »

There are a few hybrid motorhomes available.  Never priced one versus a straight diesel, but I imagine they cost a fair bit more.  I can't see the average motorhome owner ever seeing any financial benefit unless they drive in the city all the time.  Most motorhomes are driven out on the highway where hybrid does little to boost MPG.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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