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M. Parsons

ETS Electric Bus testing

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are they going to decal the bus into a different scheme or leave it plain grey?

from a reliable source recently, the two electric buses(1st generation model) currently in edmonton now will be tested until next spring, and then ETS will get another two from BYD for a 1 year lease(2nd generation model), the two buses they have right now have the same specification as the the one tested in Montreal/Gatineau.

Told you that is what the Rep told us in Montreal back in April

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LRT   

Told you that is what the Rep told us in Montreal back in April

Is a post like that really needed?

It's very common to see this type of post in the Ontario threads... We don't need it over here.

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Launch is tomorrow for the two BYD's at City Hall at 8:45. I really don't get this "ETS Stealth" branding, or why ETS even needs to brand these things. They never branded the CNG's... The hybrids seemed to be advertised as "ETS Hybrids" mind you back when they were new.

I think a lot of people will think of stealth aircraft when they hear "stealth"... so by extension, "ETS Stealth" would be a bus you don't see/ hear... so how can you ride it?

Lets hope these things see enough service so that no jokes need to be made of them being so good at being stealth they aren't spotted on the road... Like 2 certain hybrids were...

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As Trevor said I did get to drive it, but I am not a fan of them. Yes they got alot of power and as quick if not quicker than the 4400 series but im with Charlie on this one I'm old school I love the diesel buses. I hate the D40LFR and D60LFR series buses because they're too quiet. I am a LF kinda guy. Love the sound of the old manly sounding buses. I dont like these electric buses because of the way they drive they are too low to the ground so no over hang I hate the mirrors on them, and I dont like how short the wheel base is causing it to have a larger kick out, they're gonna be shitty in winter here because of how low they are. I think they're a waste of money just like the LFRs were.

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Keep in mind that the engine changes for the LFRs had nothing to do with the fact that they were LFRs; Cummins had to modify the ISL to comply with EPA 2007 (and again for EPA 2010), hence the reduced performance. You also have to differentiate between the different engines on the plain D40LFs. Do you prefer the C8.3e and early ISCs on 4046-4174, the later ISCs on 4175-4402, the EPA 2004 ISLs on 4403-4522, or the ISL retrofits on many of the 4200s and 4300s? These different drivetrain combinations are actually very unique and shouldn't all be lumped into the same category!

The other problem here is that most of your complaints about the electric buses are directed at issues you have with the BYD bus design versus the fact that that they are indeed electric buses. How would you feel if they were, say, New Flyer electric buses?

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Yeah, damage was pointed out to us today due to how low the buses are. Dave was at the helm, the driver I had for my GM charter and often gets to do stuff like this. He had to back up a few times to pull out of where he was parked, I guess or else the turning radius wouldn't have quite been there. A Flyer would have had no problem.

I think you're point of view is a bit different than Charlie's though!

Apparently running on "ghost runs". So, randomly inserted into random routes as extra buses I guess.

A few thoughts:

- feels cheap. Will wait to see the Altoona report... Altoona though doesn't actually say if it's a good bus. I think even just completing the test is good enough. The reports don't state pass or fail, unless it didn't complete the test. I don't see the current version of the BYD getting a 20-odd year service life.

- 40' but seems small. Narrower body too it seems. Can it pack the same number of people in a low floor can? How does performance correspond with passenger load? Inserted into random routes means it will likely not experience the passenger loadings of a Flyer.

- Running on mainline routes is not where this bus will excel. This is better off in the suburbs. I could see a rechargable electric bus (like Flyer and Nova are testing) handling mainline routes, and something like the BYD doing lighter suburban work. I believe current battery life is around 8-10 hours, which doesn't cut it on a mainline route with heavy passenger loadings.

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Yeah, damage was pointed out to us today due to how low the buses are. Dave was at the helm, the driver I had for my GM charter and often gets to do stuff like this. He had to back up a few times to pull out of where he was parked, I guess or else the turning radius wouldn't have quite been there. A Flyer would have had no problem.

I think you're point of view is a bit different than Charlie's though!

Apparently running on "ghost runs". So, randomly inserted into random routes as extra buses I guess.

A few thoughts:

- feels cheap. Will wait to see the Altoona report... Altoona though doesn't actually say if it's a good bus. I think even just completing the test is good enough. The reports don't state pass or fail, unless it didn't complete the test. I don't see the current version of the BYD getting a 20-odd year service life.

- 40' but seems small. Narrower body too it seems. Can it pack the same number of people in a low floor can? How does performance correspond with passenger load? Inserted into random routes means it will likely not experience the passenger loadings of a Flyer.

- Running on mainline routes is not where this bus will excel. This is better off in the suburbs. I could see a rechargable electric bus (like Flyer and Nova are testing) handling mainline routes, and something like the BYD doing lighter suburban work. I believe current battery life is around 8-10 hours, which doesn't cut it on a mainline route with heavy passenger loadings.

Noting martins comments, 20 years? Doubtful if it would even make the 12 year, nevermind 18. Is it even classed the same as a trolley coach?

Time will tell, but I suspect chuckie has already selected "specific" routes in a replay of previous "evaluations"

I have been riding these buses in Shenzhen, China and in Montreal, Canada as well, i know they are not the best buses built but be a little fair to this fairly new established company which is a baby in bus manufacturing industry, if you are trying to compare them with New Flyer, NovaBus, you are just comparing an apple with orange.

And also on top of that BYD is NOT a car/bus manufacturer to start with, they are BATTERY manufacturer! The battery you have in your Sony Ericsson, Motorolla, or even Blackberry phone are made by BYD. They develop their battery to a point that they decide get into the auto industry as they have the technology to build a car that solely runs on their own battery. Don't try to compare it with NFI or NOVA which might not even have a clue on how to develop a battery that can run 250km on a single charge by itself, and also note that NFI has to outsource the battery component to Mitsubishi in order to develop the fully electric bus..............so............

Give BYD a few years for them to develop a better bus, now please focus on the fully electric drive technology first, which is what most transit system like STM, STO and ETS are doing now, who cares if their body is a piece of crap that doesn't last for 12 years at the end of the "TEST" now? As STM/STO nor ETS will be buying any of them anyway. Also there is no snow in southern China where BYD's headquarter and plant is so of course they don't have any idea on building a bus that is suitable for the crazy winter here in Canada. I am impressed enough that their battery can stand in the past winter in Montreal already.

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Ideally you want to put your best foot forward in a test. I'm sure there are reasons, but, why wouldn't BYD get somebody else to build them a body? It's been done before where outside companies have fitted their technology to shells built by New Flyer and others.

And, no sir, not trying to compare these to a New Flyer or Nova. I even stated "I don't see the current version of the BYD getting a 20-odd year service life."

Anyways, a bus is a collection of parts built by a manufacture. Of course, New Flyer or Nova cannot and will not develop a battery. They'll take all of the available technologies and incorporate it into the body they build.

A number of my comments are in regards to the technology of the buses, and their overall ability to effectively operate in heavy passenger loadings. I just see ETS somewhat going easy with these buses for this testing compared to the other test buses ETS has operated in the past. And yes, that is partially a result of the battery technology itself. My opinion is that in heavy, mainline passenger service that needs 18-20 hours of service per day a rechargable design is much more likely to be effective than a bus trying to run on a single charge with where technology is today.


From ETS's website:


The ETS Stealth operates exclusively on electricity, creating zero greenhouse gas emissions at street level. In addition to delivering a quiet, clean and comfortable ride for passengers, electric buses have low operational and maintenance costs, especially given the rising cost of alternate fuels.

I don't remember the stats from 5 years ago, I believe they tried to put trolleys at nearly the same emissions as diesels and tried to downplay the lack of street level emissions. Naturally, now, they're playing up everything that was bad 5 years ago.

And what the hell are they talking about "rising cost of alternate fuels"? The current CNG trend is in part due to the abundance of easily extractable natural gas. Diesel certainly isn't an "alternate fuel".

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Ideally you want to put your best foot forward in a test. I'm sure there are reasons, but, why wouldn't BYD get somebody else to build them a body? It's been done before where outside companies have fitted their technology to shells built by New Flyer and others.

And, no sir, not trying to compare these to a New Flyer or Nova. I even stated "I don't see the current version of the BYD getting a 20-odd year service life."

Anyways, a bus is a collection of parts built by a manufacture. Of course, New Flyer or Nova cannot and will not develop a battery. They'll take all of the available technologies and incorporate it into the body they build.

A number of my comments are in regards to the technology of the buses, and their overall ability to effectively operate in heavy passenger loadings. I just see ETS somewhat going easy with these buses for this testing compared to the other test buses ETS has operated in the past. And yes, that is partially a result of the battery technology itself. My opinion is that in heavy, mainline passenger service that needs 18-20 hours of service per day a rechargable design is much more likely to be effective than a bus trying to run on a single charge with where technology is today.

From ETS's website:

I don't remember the stats from 5 years ago, I believe they tried to put trolleys at nearly the same emissions as diesels and tried to downplay the lack of street level emissions. Naturally, now, they're playing up everything that was bad 5 years ago.

And what the hell are they talking about "rising cost of alternate fuels"? The current CNG trend is in part due to the abundance of easily extractable natural gas. Diesel certainly isn't an "alternate fuel".

BYD is looking into partnering another bus manufacturer in Guangdong, China to improve their technologies and skills on building buses, and same to their auto(passenger cars) section as well and so they can focus on improving their batteries only but not anything else, according to the BYD rep i talked to last time. When is it going to take place? God knows..........

BYD auto only founded a little more than 10 years and it is amazing enough that they can build their own full size 40ft single decker electric bus, 60ft articulated electric bus and also 40ft DOUBLE DECKER fully electric bus, don't mention about the quality BUT AT LEAST they have a product available on the market(and BYD K9 just passed the Altoona test).........and not to mention a bunch of passenger cars as well, and how many competitors they have in the world so far?

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A. Wong   

Here is the Edmonton Journal article for those who haven't seen it yet:

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/story.html?id=9911048

Nice that the driver compares it to the trolley system, and does mention its similarities but without the wires.

The visibility must be worse with those boxes blocking the wheel wells on the door side. Heavy reliance on mirrors.

Also interesting to note that it 11787km on the odometer. The second generation buses slated to arrive are noted as being "frigid-weather enabled" by Michael Austin, VP of BYD America.

My opinion:

It is great to see electric vehicles taking off once again. A recent news article stated Tesla was now the largest auto-industry employer in California. While that is also related to other auto manufacturers leaving the state, that is a pretty significant note. But even as "widespread" as the technology is now, there is quite a ways to go to get it comparable to the fossil fuel industry out there today. There is little charging infrastructure for electric cars, but it is quickly building up. In fact this Saturday there is a launch event in Red Deer at the Peavey Mart, which is a company installing Tesla chargers at its stores across the country. I'm a bit worried where that leaves Alberta in the future (with its oil-based economy) but that is decades down the road.

In terms of these electric buses, I hope they succeed and they will at the very least be a great test case and baseline to compare newer technologies to. It is a bit hypocritical of ETS as an organization to use similar claims on these buses that they were set against about the trolley buses. I don't think it will ever be as efficient as grid-connected vehicles (ie. LRT), but still a step in the right direction. There needs to be years of data collected to prove the viability of this in buses (just like hybrids) and this is just the beginning. Things like battery disposal/recycling need to be considered but that is, or will be, a whole industry in itself.

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LRT   

Wow! I can't believe how the city can change there mind with electric bus technology. Yes I know that trolley bus wires were unsightly (not to me) and there were issues with buses pileing up behind each other (unable to pass each other) But Edmonton had a decent trolley bus infrastructure leading up to the death of the trolleys. Cost of new trolleys at the time we're comparable to these new battery powered go carts, (please correct me if I'm wrong) and available from many proven manufacturers from all over the world... not just NFI. I'm sure that the technology in these electric buses could be introduced in current trolley bus production to enable improved "off wire operation" To be honest the NFI E40LFR buses had a decent off wire backup options available at the time for that purpose.

How times have changed, 2009... anything is better then dirty electricity..... 2014 Anything is better then then dirty diesel....

Anyway, I'm sure Calgary Transit is keeping an eye on this technology, as they did with the hybrid technology (and we all know what happened there)

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Assuming CT does get CNG, they sure picked the winning bus techology over everything ETS had dabbled in! Still waiting for an update to council on CNG that was originally scheduled for February or March.

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MAX BRT   

Does Edmonton have renewable electricity to charge the buses with? I know Winnipeg and Quebec have cheap hydropower, which makes electric buses a no-brainer if they can get close to the current diesel technology in terms of reliability and battery life.

I think Mike is right about the bus being a heavy beast. I recall in Long Beach CA an engineer was concerned that the BYD buses were too heavy for the roads. Thats one of the advantages of a smaller battery recharge en route solution a la Proterra.

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Alberta has very little hydro electricity, certainly not on the scale of BC or Quebec. There is wind power mainly in the south, but again, not significant quantities.

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awstott   

That's one of the reasons they used for getting rid of the trolleys. They ran off of "unclean" power anyways.

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