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  1. I went to Marine Drive Station this lunchtime. I waited some time but no battery buses appeared. Then a driver told me that they are only doing rush hour trippers. Given the downpour, I decided to go home.
  2. So sad. They will preserve at least one I hope?
  3. To answer some previous technical questions, I found some information at yesterday's launch. The voltage supplied to the battery buses is 480V DC. The transformer has a maximum power rating of about 500kW - I can't be more precise because the rating plate says 500kVA which isn't quite the same as 500kW because you need to know the efficiency to convert kVA to kW. But it's powerful. At the presentation the cost of each charging station was quoted at $1m. The system probably needs one fast charger for every 3 or 4 buses so the system is not cheap.
  4. Thanks. Do you have access to the presentation that could be shared? What you say fits in with the informal indications that I am picking up from various sources in Translink: The battery buses will be a replacement for the diesel buses and the virtues of trolleybuses on the heaviest duty routes are recognised.
  5. I remember riding these when they were in service. Acceleration with a real kick - no modern electronics, just traditional contactor control. I was visiting and remember some local teenagers commenting on their "take-off" and how they were faster starters than most sports cars. "Please hold on" would have been really useful on these 🙂
  6. Weren't there external factors that in part caused that high spare ratio? Translink exercised an option for an extra 34 articulated trolleybuses, which were delivered in 2009. The knock on effect was that some 40 footers were displaced but there was at least one period of recession. So passenger demand and service increases didn't absorb the surplus of 40 footers until more recently. Initially the extra order may have been criticised, but in the long term it will have helped to meet increased passenger demand in recent years. Aren't we told that there are no spare E40LFRs available for the 41 until some are displaced off the 9 when the Sky Train construction works begin on Broadway? That said, I'm open to any information on reliability issues.
  7. It does make me wonder whether there is any scope for retrofitting (some at least of) the current fleet of trolleybuses with Lithium Ion batteries as in the XT40 and XT60 used in Seattle and San Francisco. Points for consideration both positive and negative: - Cost. A small battery pack allowing say 10 km off wire flexibility would cost how much? $100,000? Any one know? - engineering. The XT40/60 was obviously designed to be capable of carrying the weight of the batteries. Does the E40/E60 LFR have similar structural strength to carry the weight of a Lithium Ion battery pack? - Given the current fleet has a further life of between 8 to 10 years maximum, wouldn't the ability to avoid making special diesel substitutions for detours/ special events pay for the investment over the remaining life of the vehicles?
  8. Does anybody know what the official range is?
  9. It's interesting that BC Transit is scheduling "heavy duty" operations first. Many other places tend to use their first battery buses on the lighter and medium routes first. This is because of range and maximum passenger load issues.
  10. That is not the all-day range; it is the range between each recharging session. Let me explain this in a practical example in the hope that you will understand. Imagine a trolleybus with IMC on the new R4 runs under the wires from Joyce Stn. to Crown and in the process recharges its batteries to a full 20km range. It then runs on batteries to UBC and return using, say, 12km of range leaving 8km range. It then runs under the wires from Crown to Joyce Stn. and return. During that time, the In Motion Charging is operating, so that by the time the bus is back at Crown, it again has 20km range for the 12 km round trip to UBC and back. In addition the R4 would probably get a recharge at UBC during its turnaround time. So the 20km range is not for the whole day, but for any one "excursion" away from the wires. Over the service day, the IMC trolleybus on the R4 would do many trips on battery. Of course the same principle applies to the battery buses. Translink is testing rapid charge buses may have a range of only 75km. But that doesn't mean they only travel 75km per shift. They recharge at the charging stations at the end of the line.
  11. 20 km off-wire capability is not just for "minor detours". The point about In Motion Charging is that the bus is recharging under the wires so that the batteries are topped up for the next time that the detour has to be made. Each time the detour section begins, the bus has been recharged to a full 20km range. Maybe we should take this debate to another thread and leave this one for those who want to talk about the specific project. And to be clear, I am not opposed at all to battery buses. I will ride the trial buses with interest. I am just opposed to the idea that they are the only solution to electrification. The trial will be very good for providing real data, rather than manufacturers claims.
  12. Lots of subjective adjectives here e.g. "outdated", "improved" that aren't supported by facts. Battery buses have many drawbacks such as limited range, lower productivity because of charging downtime, reduced carrying capacity and the need for at least 20% larger fleets. This is not an improvement. Trolleybuses are NOT "bound to their wires, pure and simple". You have totally ignored the points made by others including myself about battery-trolleybuses with In Motion Charging (IMC). Virtually all trolleybuses made now have IMC and typically a 20km off-wire range. So they cope perfectly well with detours etc. without any special planning or any additional back-up fleet.
  13. I guess systems would have to specify their requirements, but it is hard to imagine that any system would specify trolleybuses without any batteries and In Motion Charging. Both the Seattle and San Francisco XT40s and XT60s have IMC but I don't think the battery range is particularly long -maybe 10km. And as far as I know both cities use the batteries for detours only rather than for extending routes permanently without building wiring. Two examples from San Francisco: route 6 was affected by sewer works so for a few months it was operated exclusively by XT40s that did a detour from the roadworks; and currently route 30 has returned to its historic routing south of Union Square but is using battery power on the restored alignment until the overhead wiring is restored.
  14. You have ignored the objective facts that I provided and just use subjective terms like "outdated" and "better". Mainline railways, metros, electric streetcars, even ICE buses have been in use longer that trolleybuses. So they are "outdated" too? The thing is, over the decades all these vehicle systems have been updated with the most modern technology. It's the same with trolleybuses. Ironically, the latest battery buses have the same equipment as the latest trolleybuses, but are saddled with very heavy batteries. Meanwhile trolleybuses have been reinvented by adding smaller batteries and In Motion Charging. In some countries they are marketed as "electric buses with In Motion Charging". All the detailed arguments are probably best put into a separate thread. For the moment I'll just add that there's no guarantee that battery buses will be any cheaper overall. To be fair, I shall be fascinated to see the trials in action when I visit this autumn. Do we know for sure that the trials will begin with the September sheet?
  15. "Outdated"? Not so. Historically, cities tried to use battery buses in the early 1900s but they weren't viable and trolleybuses developed instead. So battery buses aren't "NEW" but even if they were, the issue isn't whether a concept is new but whether it is better. Both battery buses and trolleybuses run on exactly the same principles. The only difference is in how the electricity is provided: one stores it in heavy batteries; the other takes it live from a supply network. There is a lot of communality and for example in Switzerland, bus maker Hess and electrical company ABB make both the TOSA battery bus and the Swiss Trolley Plus on the same bus platform. The advent of In Motion Charging in the battery-trolleybus means that the "issues and restrictions" are largely set aside. Battery buses obviously have their uses but they will continue to suffer from the dead weight of batteries. Mains electric is more energy efficient than battery electric. Here is a slide from Siemens that compares the WTW (Well to Wheel) energy efficiency of their mains electric trucks (some people call them "trolley trucks 🙂 ) with battery trucks and diesel. The same differential will apply for buses.
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