Jump to content

Gillig product discussion


Recommended Posts

28 minutes ago, M. Parsons said:

 

That's what they said would happen with hybrid buses, and we certainly haven't seen a significant price drop from 10+ years ago.

Its smart to be skeptical.

Consider though, that the hybrid bus is more complex than the diesel bus. It adds a 2nd drivetrain or at least many new drivetrain components and keeps the original. It adds weight. Fuel savings are modest, now around 33 percent (depending on routes, driver behavior, etc.) Hybrid buses were also a victim of the huge drop in fuel prices after the great recession and the shale drilling revolution.

In contrast, the electric bus is simpler than the diesel or CNG. No more exhaust system and DEF, no more huge engine and fuel lines. Fuel savings are enormous in certain states and provinces--such as those with cheap hydropower. Fuel savings are expected to be 70% or more.

And things have now changed in lithium ion battery supply. Gigafactories are coming on-line. (And electric buses have already come down in price by 33% over the last 6 years.)

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2016/08/26/could-lithium-shortage-derail-electric-car-boom/87684224/

Check out this new interview with Proterra. I think you'll find it compelling:

https://cleantechnica.com/2016/08/27/interview-with-ryan-popple-ceo-of-proterra-cleantechnica-exclusive/

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

 As far as I know, Gillig is not competing on electric buses. That appears to be a big mistake. The purchase price has come down a lot, to as low as $700k. Combine that with all of the fuel and maintenance savings and electric buses are competitive now.

Eh, this is GILLIG we're talking about. It was posted here quite often that they should get into the CNG market, they are losing marketshare by not having CNG, etc. Well looking back now, IMO they rolled out their CNG options at a great time. It was done just as demand was really starting to go up more among their core small and midsize operator market. As for electric buses I'm guessing they have something in the works for that as well, and they'll introduce them when the time is right. Don't forget, while all the press and announcements of electric bus orders is exciting, they are still a largely new technology in the North American market. Most transit operators have diesel or maybe a couple diesel-hybrid buses, that's what they know, and it works well for them. They will keep ordering those for replacements for the next few years until these new battery buses really start to prove themselves with some years of reliable service and proven cost savings.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, MVTArider said:

 As for electric buses I'm guessing they have something in the works for that as well, and they'll introduce them when the time is right.

Failing that, they've worked with Complete Coach Works before on the Dayton trolleys, and CCW seems to be quite well into electric buses so I'm sure there's an option there such as CCW is doing the propulsion systems and Gillig supplies the shells.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just like Hybrids, electric buses are developing technology, but it still needs a few more years until technology is really good. There will be a day where most transit systems will have a few electric buses. I just don't think the technology is just as good yet

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

Its smart to be skeptical.

Consider though, that the hybrid bus is more complex than the diesel bus. It adds a 2nd drivetrain or at least many new drivetrain components and keeps the original. It adds weight. Fuel savings are modest, now around 33 percent (depending on routes, driver behavior, etc.) Hybrid buses were also a victim of the huge drop in fuel prices after the great recession and the shale drilling revolution.

In contrast, the electric bus is simpler than the diesel or CNG. No more exhaust system and DEF, no more huge engine and fuel lines. Fuel savings are enormous in certain states and provinces--such as those with cheap hydropower. Fuel savings are expected to be 70% or more.

And things have now changed in lithium ion battery supply. Gigafactories are coming on-line. (And electric buses have already come down in price by 33% over the last 6 years.)

A few comments. While I agree in principle that hybrids are more complex, I disagree that it adds a 2nd drive train. In a series hybrid it's one drive train. The engine turns a generator that generates power which charges the ESS and powers the traction motor. A parallel hybrid certainly could be considered as having a second drive train as propulsion can be provided by either the electric motor, the diesel engine, or a combination of both, and you still retain a transmission-like device for managing all of this. I actually think we'll one day see the demise of the parallel hybrid. 

In all honesty, I wouldn't get too excited about a 33% reduction in price in the last 6 years when there were so few electric buses on the road.

Trust me- I'm a huge electric propulsion supporter. Always have been. But, there's still many unanswered questions about electric buses that we might not have answers to for sometime until we start to see the buses of today hitting 6 years and 12 years of service. Unfortunately, I feel we've got the answers on hybrids that we were asking 10-15 years ago and they haven't exactly panned out as promised.

27 minutes ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Just like Hybrids, electric buses are developing technology, but it still needs a few more years until technology is really good. There will be a day where most transit systems will have a few electric buses. I just don't think the technology is just as good yet

Hybrids are arguably fully developed, yet, are still priced quite high above a standard diesel and do not have the life cycle savings to justify the additional cost. Frankly, having just a few electric buses is worthless. You need an actual fleet of electric buses to be able to properly schedule and maintain them. 

The difference between a hybrid and an electric bus is that the electric bus probably can generate the life cycle savings to justify their purchase. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

 

In all honesty, I wouldn't get too excited about a 33% reduction in price in the last 6 years when there were so few electric buses on the road.

Trust me- I'm a huge electric propulsion supporter. Always have been. But, there's still many unanswered questions about electric buses that we might not have answers to for sometime until we start to see the buses of today hitting 6 years and 12 years of service. Unfortunately, I feel we've got the answers on hybrids that we were asking 10-15 years ago and they haven't exactly panned out as promised.

Regarding the past price reduction with so few battery buses on the road, consider that price savings are expected as a consequence of increasing orders, as a consequence of economies of scale. So its exciting that it happened so fast and with relatively few orders. The upfront price difference has a lot to do with buying expensive batteries, but the price for those has been dropping fast and that is highly likely to continue as demand and scale is increasing fast.

Regarding unanswered questions, what questions are you referring to specifically? It would be fun to talk about them.

Foothill transit started using electric buses in 2010. Its already been 6 years for them and they are committed to being all electric by 2030. I believe that means they won't buy anymore new internal combustion buses after next year. Battery life had been the biggest concern but those fears have been put to rest.

Source: http://foothilltransit.org/news/sustainability/electric-program/

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, XN40 said:

Some agencies are still anti electric!

The problem is that many transit agencies at all levels are consistently short of capital funds to buy new buses, so they can't afford to buy expensive new technologies without a guaranteed payoff down the road.  Electric buses will be viewed skeptically by many operators because they still remember how hybrids were supposed to pay off their higher purchase costs with lower operating costs, only to find out that the promised fuel economy savings never materialized.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RailBus63 said:

...they still remember how hybrids were supposed to pay off their higher purchase costs with lower operating costs, only to find out that the promised fuel economy savings never materialized.

In fact, that is the main reason why SMART will no longer buy any more hybrids, as evident by the fact that this year's order of 59 BRTs plus next year's 80-BRT order are all diesels.

Anyways, I think you should already make a new thread regarding this. Every time I anticipate new Gillig-related content all I come across is you guys still taking about this...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, 160 Downriver said:

Anyways, I think you should already make a new thread regarding this. Every time I anticipate new Gillig-related content all I come across is you guys still taking about this...

I know that feel, I run into it with other topics myself sometimes :unsure:

Well nothing exciting to discuss at the moment like a new model, so...

Williamsburg, VA - WATA board approves new bus design - 3 new Gillig Low Floors coming in.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 01/09/2016 at 6:46 AM, MAX BRT said:

Regarding unanswered questions, what questions are you referring to specifically? It would be fun to talk about them.

Battery life- warranties are great... BYD offers a 12 year... but will BYD be around to support it? How do battery replacements factor into life cycle costs?

Battery range- sure, they're getting better, but most depot charging buses cannot do a full service day that a diesel can. On street charging can do it, but, it increases the life cycle costs due to recharging infrastructure.

Vehicle service life- Edmonton's testing has shown that over 18 years a BYD can have a lower life cycle cost than the on street charging New Flyer, but, can a BYD be rebuilt to serve 18 years like a New Flyer has been proven to? Now, granted, US agencies usually run on a 12 year replacement cycle, but, trolley buses are on 18 year replacement cycles. Does anyone know as it relates to US Federal funding, are battery buses 12 years or 18 years?

 

Just a few thoughts off of the top of my head.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/4/2016 at 4:21 PM, M. Parsons said:

Battery life- warranties are great... BYD offers a 12 year... but will BYD be around to support it? How do battery replacements factor into life cycle costs?

Battery range- sure, they're getting better, but most depot charging buses cannot do a full service day that a diesel can. On street charging can do it, but, it increases the life cycle costs due to recharging infrastructure.

Vehicle service life- Edmonton's testing has shown that over 18 years a BYD can have a lower life cycle cost than the on street charging New Flyer, but, can a BYD be rebuilt to serve 18 years like a New Flyer has been proven to? Now, granted, US agencies usually run on a 12 year replacement cycle, but, trolley buses are on 18 year replacement cycles. Does anyone know as it relates to US Federal funding, are battery buses 12 years or 18 years?

 

Just a few thoughts off of the top of my head.

I believe all US federally funded buses, including electric, are eligible for replacement after 12 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

I believe all US federally funded buses, including electric, are eligible for replacement after 12 years.

In theory, but there is a limited pot of funding available, so many cities have to operate their buses quite a bit longer.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/9/2016 at 2:34 PM, 160 Downriver said:

Are there any agencies other than Orlando and Northern Kentucky that have already started to retire their BRT buses?

BARTA-Reading,PA will be retiring I think 9 of their 2005 BRT's. Also to note. BARTA was one of the first customers to get the BRT's.

On 2/8/2015 at 4:15 PM, A. Wong said:

They are in the electric trolley bus game.

But with only 1 customer,and they didn't even get that many of them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'am very surprised that with the introduction of the Low Floor bus.That there is still a lot of Gillig fans. I thought all the models up to the Phantoms were Gilligs best. The Low Floors are just plain garbage. The suspension sucks,the seating sucks,drivers area is somewhat ok,but needs major improvements.The whole bus needs a total make over. The only reason the BRT style came out is because they copied off the Van Hools was getting back in 2003 in hoping AC Transit would probably get them,and look they got Gillig's now but not with the BRT front. The only good thing I would compliment Gillig on with the Low Floor is that you don't have to down size on the tires. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, CR SD40-2 said:

I'am very surprised that with the introduction of the Low Floor bus.That there is still a lot of Gillig fans. I thought all the models up to the Phantoms were Gilligs best. The Low Floors are just plain garbage. The suspension sucks,the seating sucks,drivers area is somewhat ok,but needs major improvements.The whole bus needs a total make over. The only reason the BRT style came out is because they copied off the Van Hools was getting back in 2003 in hoping AC Transit would probably get them,and look they got Gillig's now but not with the BRT front. The only good thing I would compliment Gillig on with the Low Floor is that you don't have to down size on the tires. 

Hey why don't ya respect our opinions. You don't like them, we do. Gillig didn't copy vanhool either...

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Hey why don't ya respect our opinions. You don't like them, we do. Gillig didn't copy vanhool either...

I did,I said I like how you don't have to change tire sizes to a lower profile. Technically yes they did. If they didn't can you prove it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2016 at 9:59 PM, M. Parsons said:

Sounds like 41 more could be coming: http://www.daytontrolleys.net/

It's still only one customer. 

On 9/11/2016 at 6:32 PM, OR Transit Fan said:

First of all, why don't you prove why they apparently copied them

Since you can't find the time to do it yourself I'll sit here and make you look bad. 

maxresdefault.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/09/2016 at 3:29 PM, CR SD40-2 said:

I'am very surprised that with the introduction of the Low Floor bus.That there is still a lot of Gillig fans. I thought all the models up to the Phantoms were Gilligs best. The Low Floors are just plain garbage. The suspension sucks,the seating sucks,drivers area is somewhat ok,but needs major improvements.The whole bus needs a total make over. The only reason the BRT style came out is because they copied off the Van Hools was getting back in 2003 in hoping AC Transit would probably get them,and look they got Gillig's now but not with the BRT front. The only good thing I would compliment Gillig on with the Low Floor is that you don't have to down size on the tires. 

Care to explain a bit more? I'm all for people having their own opinions, but, just simply saying that something sucks doesn't cut it. You say the suspension sucks. Why? How does it compare to other bus builders? The seating sucks, and drivers area is "somewhat ok". What makes the drivers area "somewhat ok"? What would you consider to be an "OK" drivers area? What would an excellent drivers area look like? Seating is a transit agency specific spec. Is it that the buses you rode on just have a seating style you don't like? Otherwise, what is it about the seating you don't like? I suspect that there are different options too for the suspension. 

Tires- moot point. Most transit agencies I'm aware of lease tires. That puts the spare tire supply on the company that the transit agency leases tires from. 

 

18 hours ago, CR SD40-2 said:

Since you can't find the time to do it yourself I'll sit here and make you look bad. 

maxresdefault.jpg

That's your "proof?" Oh boy...

I was hoping you'd supply some damning internal documents that showed that Gillig did something like rip apart a Van Hool to the structure and then built their design based upon that. :ph34r:

There's probably a friggin' motorhome out there that one could accuse Van Hool of "copying" originally. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, MAX BRT said:

Shoot, no need for one bus lover to insult another. He misses the Phantom and disses the BRT, but it ain't personal. A lotta people got their favorites. Maybe he grew up riding the Phantom when he was little.

Nope I grew up around Fishbowls,Neoplans,and Orions. I have photographed Phantoms but never rode one.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

Care to explain a bit more? I'm all for people having their own opinions, but, just simply saying that something sucks doesn't cut it. You say the suspension sucks. Why? How does it compare to other bus builders? The seating sucks, and drivers area is "somewhat ok". What makes the drivers area "somewhat ok"? What would you consider to be an "OK" drivers area? What would an excellent drivers area look like? Seating is a transit agency specific spec. Is it that the buses you rode on just have a seating style you don't like? Otherwise, what is it about the seating you don't like? I suspect that there are different options too for the suspension. 

Tires- moot point. Most transit agencies I'm aware of lease tires. That puts the spare tire supply on the company that the transit agency leases tires from. 

From my personal experience I'll give you reasons why. First off the bus is already low to the ground so why is it a need to have the front end even lower to the ground which means you have more chances bottoming out than if it was at same ride height as the rear. That is a major problem around my area. 2 The rear door. never offered as a slide glide,always a swing out,or plug. Not very wide,the floor on a slant which could to lead to slippage from a passenger exiting when the floor is wet. The step leading to the raised section of the bus is short in length,and probably a .5" steep compared to other competitors. The seat across from the rear door has no purpose being mid raised. Now it gives the person who sits behind that seat a reason to cough,sneeze,dump food or a drink on you,and look over your shoulder. Also goes for the person sitting in the mid raise see to the person sitting on the lower level in front. Heating is poor no even distribution. With computer crossing the aisle in front of the bus could make it difficult for taller people having to duct down alittle bit. Front roof hatch is not in a location where the driver can quickly open or close it for ventilation. Drivers area. though the idea of having a flatter dash for better road visibility it really sucks on a bight sunny day can't read any of the gauges because of the glare reflecting off the glass that covers the needles. The light bar were all the idiot lights are not in a line of sight. Requires you to look up to see what the problem is.  4 ways have a stupid beeping sound. So now if you're trying to listen to a passenger explaining an issue that might be going on you have to deactivate them to listen to what they are saying. The stop request bell is annoying when it right in your ear. Drivers window doesn't stay open,even when new. So when you come to a stop it will close. Last but not least that is #1 P.I.T.A. thing about the drivers area. The position of the brake pedal being very close to the steering column. Which also brings attention to those who like to sit higher but they cant because then even in the full raised position the steering wheel is then on their lap. The only good thing I can say is I like the standard pull down shades,and the booster fan for air flow.

That's your "proof?" Oh boy...

I was hoping you'd supply some damning internal documents that showed that Gillig did something like rip apart a Van Hool to the structure and then built their design based upon that. :ph34r:

You got a better one?

There's probably a friggin' motorhome out there that one could accuse Van Hool of "copying" originally.

 I don't see any motorhomes that resemble a motorcoach,or transit bus UNLESS it was a retired one.

 

10 hours ago, mike from edmonton said:

That's your proof, hell line up a few more manufactures models and they all are basically the same.

BUT why not go after all busses made with duals in the back, two tyres up front and an engine in the back, as they all stole that idea from somebody...

Good thing you're not a prosecutor with that caliber of proof...  Maybe consider car wash attendant as a career, seems to be withing your grasp

Go ahead line them up! I'll sit back and watch this,and I'll wait for your list. Because now I'm believing that car wash attendant is in desire need for you to re apply.

25 minutes ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Wow you have never been on a phantom?? You are sure missing out man!!

The better ones for sure is the 6V92's and the M11's. One day I'll try to make it to one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...