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martin607

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  1. martin607

    2018/2019 Electric Bus Project

    AFAIK the Vancouver E40LFR & E60LFR fleet does not have IMC charging or lithium ion batteries. The XT40s and XT60s for Seattle do have IMC, lithium Ion batteries etc. but the battery pack may be relatively small and its use seems to be only for diversions etc., not for route extensions or conversions. It would be great if Translink could experiment with retrofitting some trolleys with the latest batteries and IMC chargers and using them in trials. It depends on whether the bus bodies have the strength to take the extra weight of new batteries. Not if they have any sense. I'm collating a lot of information on the issue and hope to publish a document looking at the pros and cons of each type. The advantages are not all one way. Battery bus and battery-trolleybus are very similar technically, and use a similar amount of power for a day's service. Why would you destroy Vancouver's massive existing power delivery system and then replace it with a massive fleet of expensive new battery charging stations? And why add, say, 15 minutes per hour additional layover time at terminals for battery recharging when you could do it through IMC while running under the trolley wires? There is already evidence from abroad that battery buses cause a big loss of vehicle and driver productivity compared with trolleys or diesels. Just as a taster here's an article about the problems BYD are having. http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12413276/stalls-stops-and-breakdowns-problems-plague-push-for-electric-buses
  2. martin607

    2018/2019 Electric Bus Project

    Yes the buses for Dayton are IMC equipped. Kiepe is the main contractor and uses Gillig bus shells. These are full dual mode battery-trolleybuses capable of running 15 miles in battery mode. The batteries are recharged while running under the trolleybus wires - yay! no need for the 10 minute charging waits that pure battery buses need. Kiepe is the leading manufacturer of traction equipment for IMC (In Motion Charging) trolleybuses. In Europe these battery-trolleybuses are being used by cities to convert diesel bus routes . For example Solingen in Germany has an extensive trolleybus network. It is now getting new articulated battery-trolleybuses and later this year they will be used on diesel bus route 695. The idea is that part of the route is under wires, so there the bus runs as a trolleybus and at the same time is recharging its batteries. When it gets to the unwired sections of the route, it runs off the batteries and unlike a pure battery bus it doesn't have to wait 10 minutes at the end of the line for a recharge. This idea of In Motion Charging could be used in Vancouver if Translink had the will to do so. In theory the forthcoming B91 could be operated by new trolleybuses with IMC. Obviously you would have to use diesel buses on the stopping 41 service. But there is no practical reason why trolleybuses cannot operate a limited stop B-Line service - for example San Francisco runs the 5 Fulton using trolleybuses on the Limited service and diesels on the all-stops service. No doubt the vehicle purchase costs would be much higher but there would not be any need for new charging infrastructure - all charging would be done from the wires between Joyce Stn and Crown (and return). The XT40 and XT60 trolleybuses supplied to Seattle and now coming to San Francisco have IMC. But strangely they only use the IMC function for weekend detours etc. rather than route extensions or diesel conversions. For cities with existing overhead wiring, using battery-trolleybuses with IMC may be a better idea for expanding fleet electrification that straight battery buses. But no space here to go into that - it could be a topic for another thread.
  3. martin607

    Proterra

    This could be an example of how an R&D company works for its founders. You do not actually have to make a profit in the business itself. Just develop an idea and a market and then sell the shares in your loss-making company to somebody with much more money. If the example of Tesla is anything to go by, Proterra will still be requiring a lot of capital investment before it becomes profitable. I love the side swipe at other manufacturers who still use steel bodies. "They’re still trying to stick batteries in steel buses." I wonder why other manufacturers still prefer steel bodies. There must be a reason. In earlier decades some manufacturers started using aluminum instead of steel. Light weight leads to fuel savings but I the idea wasn't widely adopted because of the higher cost. So there must be some sort of trade off for composite too. Is it more expensive than steel?
  4. martin607

    Gillig product discussion

    Quite. Kiepe has been the main contractor for the traction equipment for New flyer trolleybuses to Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco. They simply chose to buy in traction motors from Skoda (lower cost? speed of delivery?). But they could have manufactured in-house. As this is a Gillig thread, has anybody posted about the new Next Generation Trolleybuses being ordered by Dayton Ohio? These are full dual mode battery trolleybuses capable of running 15 miles in battery mode. The batteries are recharged while running under the trolleybus wires - yay no need for the 10 minute charging waits that pure battery buses need. Interestingly the transit authority seems to be contracting directly with Kiepe Electric, who in turn are using Gillig bus bodies.
  5. martin607

    Gillig product discussion

    I hadn't realised that Cummins had started making electric powertrains. That's a sensible move from their point of view but where do they get the experience and expertise to guarantee performance and reliability to demanding customers? In contrast New Flyer uses electric motors from Siemens, which has over 100 years experience in electric traction - railways, tramways and trolleybuses
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