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EV Transit Buses - NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by McFlurri, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. McFlurri

    McFlurri Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently a Transit Operator for Grand River Transit in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario Canada and I need the help of this community.

    I have spoken to my management to present the idea of purchasing Battery Electric Transit Buses and they seemed interested. I am asking for the help of this community to help me create a business case for the procurement of BEV Buses. (Currently our fleet is made up of NOVA Bus and New Flyer ICE buses)

    Keep in mind this would be going to a government run organization so we would need our case clear and 100% accurate.

    I know that there are several municipalities in the US that have or will be jumping on board with the purchase of BEV Buses, so If anyone could possibly get access to their documents used as a business case that would be awesome!

    Key information would be needed like, Purchase costs of various BEV bus manufacturers for 40' buses and the comparable costs of ICE Buses (and information for each), charging technology (and costs for the chargers), replacement costs of batteries (battery life), savings provided by reduction of maintenance, etc. (any other benefits and negatives)

    Please help me! I don't know how to do this and it needs to be done right the first time. There is no immediate timeline for this so if it takes us as a community a little while to create this business case, then that's not a big issue. The last thing we want is to botch this plan, which could delay the eventual transition to BEV Buses (let's help accelerate the advent of sustainable transport together!)

    If anyone has any experience with this type of thing please help!
     
  2. AndreN

    AndreN Member

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    King County (Seattle area) Metro is currently testing electric buses. Here's an article with some details about range, efficiency, and cost savings: link
     
  3. GSP

    GSP Member

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    IndyGo has 21 electric buses in Indianapolis and a 1 MW solar PV array to help charge them.

    I think that they are trying to make the economics work, instead of just paying for green image. I suggest tring to contact them.

    GSP
     
  4. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Chicago has been testing two BEV buses for about 2 years, CTA announced earlier in the year that they will be purchasing 20-30 more of them.

    CTA to buy more electric buses
     
  5. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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  6. ZachShahan

    ZachShahan Member

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    I've seen spreadsheets on this that I can't share publicly, but I'd recommend contacting some key electric bus manufacturers (BYD, Proterra...) and asking them for a little help. They have the numbers. The numbers clearly favor electric buses now.

    As a note, the head of Barcelona's transit agency told me in 2013, when they were testing BYD electric buses, that they were competitive on a lifetime cost basis. The story has gotten much better since 2013. In other words, I think a transit agency (purely from a cost basis) is making a horrible mistake by buying anything but fully electric buses now.

    Also, note that the smoother and quieter drive is a big benefit to drivers, passengers, and residents. (Not the mention the tremendous benefits to public health.) I was told by someone at GM (which doesn't sell electric buses) that drivers of a transit agency in Iceland that was trialling a few electric buses would race to the electric options in the morning because they felt much less "fatigued" at the end of the day when driving a (much smoother) electric bus.

    But yeah, just contact BYD & Proterra for the numbers and help creating a presentation.
     
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  7. McFlurri

    McFlurri Member

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    awesome, thanks for the reply's so far guys! Very useful!
     
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  8. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    I don't know if this is the same sort of thing, but they had Earth Day Texas @ Fair Park, three day weekend late April 2016.

    They had a massive "First Long Range All Electric Over the Road Coach" bus, manufactured by BYD, range of 190 miles.
    I took some pictures, looks like it might seat 45 people plus the driver.

    Probably too large and tall for typical city driving (?), but maybe BYD has a smaller "Citified" sibling.
     
  9. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    San Francisco has some electric busses and they have turned out to be a total disaster in their hilly city streets. Too underpowered to climb the hills and keep up with the flow of traffic.
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Are you talking about the trolleybuses? I ride that every day (the older 40ft ones, not the newer 60ft) and they have plenty of power to climb hills and have plenty of acceleration. I don't believe we operate any battery electric buses though.
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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  12. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    #12 neroden, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
    OK. The first thing to know is that the three ready-to-go suppliers of battery-electric buses in Canada are New Flyer, BYD, and Proterra. I bet all three of them could get you spec sheets and pricing information, as well as information on what their buses need for charging and so forth.

    I would not touch any other company at this point; these are the three with a solid North American track record.

    If you explain that your management has tasked you with doing research in preparation for a potential order, they'll probably fall all over themselves to give you information.

    Agencies which have used these buses for some time in service include:
    Winnipeg and CTA (Chicago IL) for New Flyer,
    Foothill Transit (California) and King County Metro (Seattle WA) for Proterra,
    Antelope Valley Transit (California) and Transport For London (UK) for BYD.

    There are other agencies I have forgotten about which have ordered these buses. You should ask BYD, Proterra, and New Flyer for the names of the agencies which have already ordered battery-electric buses, since the manufacturers *will* have the list of all their clients!

    You will almost certainly wish to contact some of these agencies and see if they can point you to the various evaluations they have done -- as well as giving their honest assessments of the strong points and weak points of the buses. This is where I'd start. I'd guess that some of the agencies won't want to answer your phone calls, while others will be very helpful. But if you do enough footwork you should be able to get honest assessments (as opposed to the manufacturers' optimistic assessments) of all three brands from agencies which have already bought their products.

    The state of Washington actually went through a sort of bidding process for battery-electric buses, to create a list of *prequalified suppliers* for all of their transit agencies, within each particular size and class of bus. I remember reading the documents regarding the results of the process; they're online somewhere. That might be a useful document as well.
     
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  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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