Various electric buses at TSA.

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jibb
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by jibb »

The Precision/Bustech 2 electric buses have never entered service in Adelaide. They sat around for over 12 months at Precision Buses/Torrens Transit Mile End Depot.
One was photographed recently on the Gold Coast.
So far no one knows what is happening or their future?

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tim Williams »

Great response Tony, thanks!
The article in "Buses" does show in photos and talks about battery placement on Enviro 400EV, with most batteries stacked at the back (behind the rear axle) with a few others placed under the staircase, behind the floor. All looks to be a good use of space and a neat installation, but there are still two steps at the rear gangway (lower saloon) to access the rearmost two rows of seats - not sure why, photos do not assist. Now I am getting into the minutiae!

What a farce was the purchase of those two Bustech electrics for Adelaide - I think they were $1,000,000 each or maybe more and to my knowledge they never turned a wheel in service and now seem to have disappeared. If one has been seen at the Gold Coast, perhaps it might be visiting the Burleigh factory for mods or a rebuild - it's great to be innovative but there is an obvious need to be practical as well.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Fleet Lists »

Rad wrote:
They’d need to install Opal readers on the bus too? As down in Nowra I don’t think the services down there are Opal enabled.
Buses in Nowra and Kiama on town services have Opal readers
I am not aware of any in Nowra unless it is a Premier Illawarra bus operating down there - there are no Oal routes in Nowra.
In Kiama again it would be only Premier Illawarra who operate the only Opal routes down there.
Living in the Shire.

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Tongans101
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tongans101 »

tonyp wrote:Thank you for the information on the ADL buses Tim - plenty of minutiae to bog myself down in there! ;)

I guess I look at it as a BYD bus with a body by yet another bodybuilder. I couldn't find any inside views of the double decker but it was a good ceverage of the single decker. Once again I am impressed by the centre door being as far back as possible but once again puzzled why they don't have a fully low floor (stepless gangway) as the diagram doesn't indicate that there is anything under the rear aisle (no batteries for example). The Yutong E12s in the UK have fully low floor, so perhaps it's a BYD thing. Also the description doesn't mention approximate range which I think is a fairly critical bit of information that should be available.

I think in Australia we are still cautiously trying out the technology before jumping in at the deep end with big orders. Much smaller market than the UK too. However, NSW is being quite progressive trialling electrics when other states so far have only dipped into diesel hybrids. The Bustech/Precision electric trial in Adelaide seems to have quietly died (?).
BYD with another body builders body...true, just like a volvo or a Scania or a Mercedes having a plethora or bodies built by other body builders.

Everyone in Australia seems to have range anxiety. You don't need high range for city buses. There are many designs with fewer batteries that are fast charge through OPPCharge systems which will make the buses lighter and cheaper.

As for UK and Europe, not only is the demand bigger but the funding is also available. Australian governments, state and Federal don't have the funds to buy fleets of alternate fuel buses.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

Fleet Lists wrote: I am not aware of any in Nowra unless it is a Premier Illawarra bus operating down there - there are no Opal routes in Nowra.
In Kiama again it would be only Premier Illawarra who operate the only Opal routes down there.
This is correct. And on the railway buses you use the Opal reader on the railway stations.
Tongans101 wrote:
Everyone in Australia seems to have range anxiety. You don't need high range for city buses.
This was the impression I had but I didn't have the information to support it, so thanks. I recall that in Europe they tend to have a minimum charge level so when the bus goes down to that it needs recharge. About 20% or so I think? So there would be a net range taking account of that and I would think that the range depends to some extent on the operating environment of the bus and its ability to self-charge as it runs along.

I would think that the base industry expectation should be that it can operate the typical daily roster of a diesel bus without having to be taken off the run early. I think potential excessive downtime is the worst enemy of a battery electric bus and I'm not a great believer in flash recharges as anything that can affect dwells while the vehicle is running is retrograde. I think that's a big issue with the Newcastle tram for example. It turns what should be stop dwells of 10-20 seconds into 45 second ones, which obviously has a cumulative effect on the total journey time, thus turnaround, how many vehicles you need etc.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tim Williams »

I am not sure if it applies to these current (high tech) batteries, but Toyota Industrial put a lot of research into fast charging of electric fork lift trucks to try and eliminate detrimental effect it had on the batteries. The best method of recharging, to preserve battery integrity was a slow overnight charge after say an 8 hour day shift. This was a few years ago and I am certain things would have changed now!

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by moa999 »

Even Tesla recognises fast charging is a battery killer and has a whole suite of tech around pre-conditioning and lower rates sub-20% and above 80%.
But it's necessary to avoid range anxiety and make the cars close to dinosaurs over long ranges.

Any comments on how the BYDs are performing after a few weeks and whether they can do the same job as a diesel on a split peak shift?

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by In Transit »

Tongans101 wrote:Everyone in Australia seems to have range anxiety. You don't need high range for city buses. There are many designs with fewer batteries that are fast charge through OPPCharge systems which will make the buses lighter and cheaper.

As for UK and Europe, not only is the demand bigger but the funding is also available. Australian governments, state and Federal don't have the funds to buy fleets of alternate fuel buses.
I’m not sure what you’re describing as “high range”, but even CNG buses (generally limited to 8-10 hours of realistic use, depending on a few factors) introduce inefficiencies in scheduling and ops. There most certainly is a need for “all day” range in city buses to maximise efficiency of operations in many circumstances. Anything less is going backwards - and its certainly appropriate to have “range anxiety”. Otherwise we just bake in long term inefficiencies, and in the long run this means less service for a given budget.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

In Transit wrote: I’m not sure what you’re describing as “high range”, but even CNG buses (generally limited to 8-10 hours of realistic use, depending on a few factors) introduce inefficiencies in scheduling and ops. There most certainly is a need for “all day” range in city buses to maximise efficiency of operations in many circumstances. Anything less is going backwards - and its certainly appropriate to have “range anxiety”. Otherwise we just bake in long term inefficiencies, and in the long run this means less service for a given budget.
A technology is only really successful when it reaches the point that it imposes no compromises on operation or functionality. In the former respect, this is as you've described In Transit; in the latter respect it's when there's no internal space or seating being lost - or the need for sections of high floor. By the same token, of course typically no bus or tram runs for 24 hours, so being out of service for an overnight recharge is not seriously downtime, but if there is a need to stop for charges/top-ups during the time of operation that's a problem.

The most successful type of electric bus technology still remains the modern trolleybus with batteries and in-motion charging. They have very little downtime, are mechanically simpler, with a longer life and cheaper to operate than a diesel bus, are free from the old restriction of running under wires all the time and involve no compromises to internal space, floor level and functionality. As close as you can get to the perfect city bus. When battery electric buses get to this standard they'll be home and hosed.

Some of the electric bus development has in fact gone in the direction of in-motion charging and there is at least one route in Europe (in Prague) that operates this way with only short sections of wire for charging (without junctions or any of the other visual clutter of traditional trolleybus overhead wiring). The driving force for this work in Czech Republic (which has big fleets of articulated buses) is to viably electrify artics which is a different proposition to running lighter and smaller 12 metre buses entirely on batteries. This video provides a good view of such an operation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLn_wyj8whU
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by moa999 »

Ultimately you just have to be more specific about what you need to suit the task, rather than the one size fits all fuel tank of a combustion car.

Batteries are
- expensive
- heavy (less energy dense than fuel)
And I don't see this changing anytime soon.

For cities like Adelaide and Brisbane that have well developed central dedicated busways a battery bus with trolley charging makes perfect sense and allows a smaller battery.
For Sydney it's more difficult I suspect and you probably need buses with bigger batteries.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

moa999 wrote:Ultimately you just have to be more specific about what you need to suit the task, rather than the one size fits all fuel tank of a combustion car.

Batteries are
- expensive
- heavy (less energy dense than fuel)
And I don't see this changing anytime soon.

For cities like Adelaide and Brisbane that have well developed central dedicated busways a battery bus with trolley charging makes perfect sense and allows a smaller battery.
For Sydney it's more difficult I suspect and you probably need buses with bigger batteries.
Sydney needs to get rid of its "one size fits all" bus policy first! If they could constrain the rigids to operations more suited to their capacity, I'd see 12 metre rigids running just on batteries as a generally viable proposition in the longer term, though it would be good to not have batteries under the floor (and thus a low floor). That's why I find the potential of the Yutong as of more interest than the BYD. The requirements of artics are something else, but not having busways is not necessarily an obstacle to having in-motion charging. In that Prague example there are wires for only about 20-25% of the route and I could see this being quite feasible for high-capacity artic operations like the 333 where an equivalent wired length would be from say the foot of the hill from the beach up to Bondi Rd through to Waverley Depot.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tongans101 »

I think you all need to read up a bit on battery technology. There are batteries with chemistry that allow fast charging in service. (Lithium Titanate for one). Having done the research myself, not just in batteries but also travelling bus routes, it is clear that people need to change their way of thinking about bus routes and range. In sydney, the longest bus route for a single deck to operate for the entirety of the operation in that particular day is 220km. This can be easily achieved with an electric bus using around 70kWh fast charge batteries with a few minutes charge when the bus stops during change over or driver breaks at the end of the route. It's called Opportunity charging or OPPCharge.

This means less batteries, capability for full low floor and the bus could potentially run all day.
The tech is out there and is being used in Europe.

Alternatively....go Hydrogen Fuel Cell, with green Hydrogen, the bus will be emission free. And before all the naysayers start in about H being unsafe. Don't even bother because it's perfectly safe and no more unsafe than diesel or cng.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Swift »

What about in ground charging like the light rail as an alternative to trolley wires for charging on the go.
Have them intermittently on the route.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by moa999 »

Agree there are multiple ways of doing it - but you need more consideration on a route by route basis versus an ICE bus due to the costs involved in the batteries and charging infrastructure.

Any opportunity charging is still expensive infrastructure. And I'm not sure if you want trolley wires on major traffic routes (eg. Bondi Rd). Think better kept to busways for safety reasons.
(And in-ground charging would be even more expensive and disruptive to install)

As well as the depots would makes sense at major layover points like Bondi Junction and Lee St for a 10-15 minute top-up, but it needs a little more than your household electrical wiring, so think it would be unlikely at most stops.

Whereas id think Brisbane it Adelaide could run many routes on say a 50km battery with online charging on the busways and o-bahn, Sydney likely needs more onboard storage.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

Ironically, once TfNSW gets over its infrastructure hang-ups, there may well be tram wires along Bondi Rd one day, so what's the issue with trolley wires?! Bombardier's Primove in-ground charging was trialled in Berlin and was found to be costly to build and run and was failure-prone. Such a system also holds the bus to a single path whereas with trolley poles a bus can wander across the lanes to some extent to overtake obstacles etc.

Apart from the cost and reliability issues, opportunity charging at termini is certainly a back-up option - as long as the bus isn't running late and it stuffs the recovery time - but I don't think it should be relied upon as it is a potential recipe for stranded buses. I think either self-sufficiency with overnight charge only or in-motion charging from overhead wires are the only two practical ways to go and the latter is the only one that guarantees unlimited range with no downtime.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

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[quote="tonyp"]Ironically, once TfNSW gets over its infrastructure hang-ups, there may well be tram wires along Bondi Rd one day, [quote]

No trams in Sydney. Light rail.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tongans101 »

tonyp wrote:Ironically, once TfNSW gets over its infrastructure hang-ups, there may well be tram wires along Bondi Rd one day, so what's the issue with trolley wires?! Bombardier's Primove in-ground charging was trialled in Berlin and was found to be costly to build and run and was failure-prone. Such a system also holds the bus to a single path whereas with trolley poles a bus can wander across the lanes to some extent to overtake obstacles etc.

Apart from the cost and reliability issues, opportunity charging at termini is certainly a back-up option - as long as the bus isn't running late and it stuffs the recovery time - but I don't think it should be relied upon as it is a potential recipe for stranded buses. I think either self-sufficiency with overnight charge only or in-motion charging from overhead wires are the only two practical ways to go and the latter is the only one that guarantees unlimited range with no downtime.

Who in the world wants wires all over their city, in sections or otherwise? Overhead wires are an eyesore and have plenty of issues regarding maintenance costs.

As for your comments on reliability issues for OPPCharge, they are completely unfounded. Also not talking 10-15minute charges but half that with latest battery technology. Cost of setting up is a lot less than some think and they can be set up with off peak and solar recharged battery boost packs.

Less batteries = less weight, less weight = less energy needed.

There is no place for trolley buses in a modern clean city.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tongans101 »

moa999 wrote:Agree there are multiple ways of doing it - but you need more consideration on a route by route basis versus an ICE bus due to the costs involved in the batteries and charging infrastructure.

Any opportunity charging is still expensive infrastructure. And I'm not sure if you want trolley wires on major traffic routes (eg. Bondi Rd). Think better kept to busways for safety reasons.
(And in-ground charging would be even more expensive and disruptive to install)

As well as the depots would makes sense at major layover points like Bondi Junction and Lee St for a 10-15 minute top-up, but it needs a little more than your household electrical wiring, so think it would be unlikely at most stops.

Whereas id think Brisbane it Adelaide could run many routes on say a 50km battery with online charging on the busways and o-bahn, Sydney likely needs more onboard storage.
Sydney doesn't need more onboard charging.
Yes the wiring is more than just your normal household stuff.
OppCharge initially has a cost, just like setting up a whole CNG filling infrastructure or a diesel filling set up. Everything has a capex and opex but run the numbers and electric comes out on top over an operating period of 5 yrs over diesel.

Electric with lots of batteries, fewer fast charge batteries or hydrogen fuel cells all have a place and it all depends on the route, the operator and of course the money.

We all want cleaner cities right? Get rid of diesel.

Oh and the power generated to charge these buses can be green clean and even from coal fired is cleaner than what comes from the tail pipe of a E6 diesel or E4 CNG. Fact.

HFC powered buses even cleans the air its using and pumps out fresh clean emission free air.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

Tongans101 wrote:
No trams in Sydney. Light rail.
Unless they're running away from streets in a grade-separated rail reservation they're trams and tramways, but marketing types can call them what they want - and do!

Overhead wires are going to be with us for a very long time because nothing else so far can supply such highly reliable, cost effective power to electric transit vehicles larger than an approx 12 meter bus. Any other system you see, such as APS and flash charging at stops, is either extremely expensive to install and maintain and/or is disruptive to the operation. The supposed aesthetic issue about overhead wires is basically a beat-up by those with a vested interest in alternatives. In reality they have little aesthetic impact against the background of general urban clutter. The worst example would be the junctions and turnouts of trolleybus wiring, but this is being solved by the evolution of the modern trolleybus into a battery electric bus with in-motion charging (a dynamic as opposed to static electric bus) and the only wiring left ultimately will be occasional straight runs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong supporter of the static battery electric bus and I think they're already very viable for up to a 12 metre bus which covers the majority of citybuses. In fact I would also like to see them trialled on some of the very busy, high turnover city circulator routes such as the Perth CATs and the Gong Shuttle so that we can see what they can do as heavy duty workhorses.

But when we get to the real heavy lifters - artics and trams - we're still quite a way off. There are plenty of experiments with alternatives (including hydrogen) but nothing that satisfies the economic and practicality issues. The most reliable alternatives for trams so far are APS ground power (expensive to buy and maintain) and in-motion charging (relatively short sections so far). As the Newcastle line demonstrates, any other technology is simply an operationally-disruptive show pony. The Newcastle line simply can't be extended with that flash charge system, it's far too slow - and probably quite costly too.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by moa999 »

Only if you think in terms of old bus design.
Longer the bus more room for batteries. If a 12m bus can do 200km range, no reason why an arctic can't.

You just need to pair it with more electric motors - eg. ZFs new Electric Axles

Similar concept on all those Chinese 'trams' that get some news every few months.

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

That probably needs a few calculations by the experts. There could be issues such as axle loads - in practical terms an artic can comfortably carry twice as many people as a 12 metre bus with only 50% more length. I haven't seen any spectacular success stories with static electric artics in Europe. They still seem to be struggling with range. Funnily enough, some early electric artics years ago had two powered axles but they reverted to one as they must have found it was adequate and simpler. Two of those ZF hub motors probably deliver no more power than a single larger motor through a driveshaft. As the work in Czech Republic suggests, there is obviously an issue with range.

Edit: some recent alternative efforts -

No word about range or charging method:
https://electrek.co/2019/06/10/volvo-el ... lated-bus/

Flash charge only:
https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-new ... for-france

An earlier one, no clear outcome yet:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_U ... 8_electric
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Swift »

What about nuclear power like in The Big Bus movie from 1976. Plenty of range there.
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

Swift wrote:What about nuclear power like in The Big Bus movie from 1976. Plenty of range there.
There are plenty of nuclear-powered trains, trams and buses around the world - via wires!
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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by Tongans101 »

tonyp wrote:
Overhead wires are going to be with us for a very long time because nothing else so far can supply such highly reliable, cost effective power to electric transit vehicles larger than an approx 12 meter bus. .
Not true, plenty of 12.5 pls buses run on battery or Hydrogen Fuel Cell
tonyp wrote: Any other system you see, such as APS and flash charging at stops, is either extremely expensive to install and maintain and/or is disruptive to the operation. The supposed aesthetic issue about overhead wires is basically a beat-up by those with a vested interest in alternatives. In reality they have little aesthetic impact against the background of general urban clutter. The worst example would be the junctions and turnouts of trolleybus wiring, but this is being solved by the evolution of the modern trolleybus into a battery electric bus with in-motion charging (a dynamic as opposed to static electric bus) and the only wiring left ultimately will be occasional straight runs..
Again, not true. Opportunity charging (not "flash charging" which is a non existent phrase in the industry), is coming down in cost and is very simple to maintain. Your view on overhead wires is clear as you are obsessed with them and trams, fact is, wires ARE an eyesore.
tonyp wrote: Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong supporter of the static battery electric bus and I think they're already very viable for up to a 12 metre bus which covers the majority of citybuses. In fact I would also like to see them trialled on some of the very busy, high turnover city circulator routes such as the Perth CATs and the Gong Shuttle so that we can see what they can do as heavy duty workhorses.
Most electric buses are over 12m - and they are being trailed in high turn over city routes in Europe - much higher than in Australia
tonyp wrote:But when we get to the real heavy lifters - artics and trams - we're still quite a way off. There are plenty of experiments with alternatives (including hydrogen) but nothing that satisfies the economic and practicality issues.
Again not true. Plenty of Hydrogen and large battery powered vehicles in the rest of the world including double deck that have been successful and running for years. Australia is just so far behind its not funny and its all due to the same old arguments and lack of vision.

China is the world leader in Electric buses with over 220,000 of them in operation - 99% of the electric bus fleet. Japan has the largest HFC fleet. Two fleets of 10 HFC buses in UK. Electric buses popping up everywhere in Europe. Australia has......how many?.....23 GMLA/BYD, 1x Yutong and a Volgren bodied BYD which cant be driven on the road yet with 2 Bustech units parked up in a yard somewhere. With 50 Volvo/Volgren Hybrids slowly hitting the roads, which don't really count as Electric.

Drop the tram argument as they are not BUSES! This is about Electric Buses! Powered by Battery or HFC or other source (Super capacitor).

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Re: Various electric buses at TSA.

Post by tonyp »

Tongans101 wrote:
Most electric buses are over 12m - and they are being trailed in high turn over city routes in Europe - much higher than in Australia
I don't want to be seen as being on the wrong side of the fence here as I'm actually a strong supporter and advocate of the change to autonomous electric buses. My concerns are confined to their ability to do the job without compromise, measured against a diesel or trolley bus.

When I say "approx 12 metre" bus I'm not splitting hairs between 12 and 12.5 metres, I mean around that length as opposed to approx 18-24 metre artics and double-artics. Virtually none of the latter anywhere have made a signifcant break from at least partial dependence on wires, though naturally there is a trend to attempt it as per the links I listed above.

What the Prague experiment signals to me is that here is an operator with very heavy-duty expectations for their artics (comprising half of their fleet and moving twice the number of people as STA in Sydney), in a country with very long design, manufacturing and operating experience with electric traction (far more than China and in fact one of the earlier countries to introduce off-wire battery operation in trams and buses) - and they have chosen to experiment with an in-motion charging system rather than a static and opportunity charge system, though there's also a bit of both of those in there as well. Because of their knowledge and experience, I'm sitting up and taking notice of what's going on there in relation to larger vehicles. As for buses up to approx 12 metres I think the Czechs, Chinese and numerous others are all moving along nicely on a fairly equal front.
Tongans101 wrote: China is the world leader in Electric buses with over 220,000 of them in operation - 99% of the electric bus fleet.
Excuse me, trolley buses are also electric buses! China may now have overtaken them in world fleet size with battery electric buses but they're nowhere remotely near 99% of the world fleet of electric buses. I've had experience with this propaganda war previously when George Orwell made a comeback in Wellington NZ where the spin doctors raved on about how they were going to introduce "electric buses" to Wellington for the first time and get rid of the old "trolley buses" as if they were something else altogether. They must think people are completely stupid.

Anyway trolleybuses are now rapidly morphing into battery-electric buses with in-motion charging. The Czechs call them dynamic electric buses, as opposed to static electric buses (e.g. autonomous battery buses) that have to stop moving in order to charge (apart from the regenerative charging). I don't know how else to separate the description of these two broad types as the word "autonomous" has been taken over by the robotics people. When next in Europe you should go and talk to the people at Skoda Electric in Pilsen, the largest manufacturer of electric buses in Europe and were the largest in the world until the Chinese ramped up. On a parenthetical note, the Chinese (CRRC) are producing a hydrogen Skoda tram under licence that is running in some Chinese cities. You can't dismiss all that long European experience just by saying there should be no wires. It's nowhere near as simple as that. If there are wires there's a good practical reason for it.
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