Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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rogf24
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Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by rogf24 »

Apparently, government is going to renew the bus fleet at a faster pace than normal to get the electric bus thing going. Announced in the franchising for STA but now with new details. It could mean no new diesel (or hybrid) buses in just a few short years.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance plans to move quickly to electrify Sydney's 8000-strong bus fleet to cut diesel emissions and reduce the adverse health impact on residents of air pollution.

After meeting officials in Europe who are moving to electrify their bus fleets, Mr Constance wants the state's transport agency transport officials to conduct an assessment so that the government can put targets on the plan to convert Sydney's fleet from diesel buses.
Europe being London of course.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the ... 534ts.html

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Stonesourscotty »

Just moves the pollution to new parts of Australia.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Campbelltown busboy »

This accelerated electric bus rollout idea sounds like it would work better if labor won the recent federal election and put their 50% electric vehicles by 2030 policy in place
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Merc1107 »

Given the politics surrounding articulated buses in Sydney at the moment; do the plans for quicker fleet replacement spell the end for this type - given issues with range that currently plague these buses elsewhere (see this thread)? If the powers that be already want to wash their hands of articulated buses, investing in various recharging solutions to make them work when rigids probably wouldn't need as much infrastructure probably doesn't help their cause.

Personally am not in favour of replacing buses far sooner than usual (whatever that's supposed to mean) in the name of "saving the planet" when in all likelihood, the diesel bus will be on-sold to another operator and continue to operate. Meanwhile, more finite resources will have been put into producing yet another vehicle, which mightn't directly produce emissions in day to day operation, but still hold valid environmental concerns associated with the lifecycle of the batteries.

Reminds me a lot of the nonsense surrounding the encouragement of households to replace older, less efficient appliances with new ones that don't save *that* much energy, but are put together more flimsily, can't be fixed as easily and will probably end up in landfill after just 5-10 years. Or consumer electronic devices; the batteries are usually pretty worn out after 5yrs and so the device is chucked away in favour of a new one. Will electric buses become just another throwaway product?

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by rogf24 »

Electric buses can last a long time. Just like electric trolleybuses and electric trains. The main concern for longevity would be the battery but that can be swapped out in a extension or mid-life refresh or something and it'll only need to be the battery.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by boronia »

I have been wondering how they would go about recharging a large fleet of electric buses. Most smaller private operators have "radial" parking where each bus has an allocated bay, and any bus can usually be removed without disturbing others. But different with STA style parking where they have long rows where only the front or rear bus can be accessed. Will they put in "drive in movie" style pedestals along each row, and hope drivers don't run into them?
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by tonyp »

If they're looking to the UK as an exemplar they won't get very far (as usual). I think the main development there has been in hybrid buses and not too successfully. The European continent is the place with major and long experience of electric buses. China would be the other area if their products improve. I wonder if we'll ever grow out of this consulting with London Transport thing?
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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tonyp wrote:If they're looking to the UK as an exemplar they won't get very far (as usual). I think the main development there has been in hybrid buses and not too successfully. The European continent is the place with major and long experience of electric buses. China would be the other area if their products improve. I wonder if we'll ever grow out of this consulting with London Transport thing?
We don't know how many disgruntled Transport For London employees followed Howard over from London when he took up his job as the boss of Sydney Trains then the question should be how many people working within Transport For NSW are formerly Transport For London employees
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Stonesourscotty »

How many hybrids operate in London over a 1000? Pretty sure there's electric deckers there now aswell?

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Linto63 »

Merc1107 wrote:Personally am not in favour of replacing buses far sooner than usual (whatever that's supposed to mean) in the name of "saving the planet" when in all likelihood, the diesel bus will be on-sold to another operator and continue to operate.
Expect the existing diesel buses will see out their intended service lives as planned, just that we will reach a point where all purchases will be electric, so maybe in 30 years we will have an all electric fleet.
tonyp wrote:If they're looking to the UK as an exemplar they won't get very far (as usual). I think the main development there has been in hybrid buses and not too successfully.
London have been operating electrics for 3 years now, have a couple of hundred now and have recently introduced double deck electrics. So they are a lot further down the path than
we are. They have been purchasing hybrids for about a decade, and while they only operate in electric mode while stationery or travelling below 5mph, this does account for a fair bit of time on their congested roads. They have also conducted a succession of upgrades to their older buses to reduce nitrogen oxide outputs.
Stonesourscotty wrote:How many hybrids operate in London over a 1,000? Pretty sure there's electric deckers there now as well?
2,600 hybrids, 200 electrics plus a few hyrdogens in a fleet of 9,000.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Stonesourscotty »

Unfortunately London's attitude to buses has meant newish buses being transferred to the provinces complete with the horrible London Specifications which are wasted outside of London for example Ibus and dual door buses and those silly staircases in the wrong place.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Linto63 »

Stonesourscotty wrote:Unfortunately London's attitude to buses has meant newish buses being transferred to the provinces complete with the horrible London Specifications which are wasted outside of London for example Ibus and dual door buses and those silly staircases in the wrong place.
Ibus (the onboard stop announcement system) is a bolt on feature that is easily removed much like the ticketing system and rear doors being removed is standard for any metropolitan bus being deployed to less arduous duties.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by tonyp »

I don't see a reference to Amsterdam but it would certainly be better if attention was directed there. ABC magazine has a new advertorial article on the Volvo 7900 battery artic:

https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-new ... ated-e-bus

The unknowns (publicly) are, as usual, range and WOL costs (with reference to battery life). It's best to observe the experience of others first for a while - e.g. Amsterdam.

I presume any move down this path would be new purchases after a chosen date. I imagine existing diesels would live out their full normal frontline life. Meanwhile better not let the greenies deprive us of reliable base load power just as we are transitioning back to electricity.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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Constance is not well known for his rational announcements.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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tonyp wrote:Meanwhile better not let the greenies deprive us of reliable base load power just as we are transitioning back to electricity.
Even if electric and battery technology is the solution, they're going to have to figure out a way to deal with the mind-boggling demands a city full of electric vehicles is going to place on the electricity grid... We already have infrastructure on the brink of collapse during summer heat-waves, with the energy authorities pleading with householders to minimise their peak electrical usage. Somehow, I don't think renewable sources charging monster battery arrays that then get transmitted again, only to charge another battery is the solution. There must be quite the efficiency loss between transmission to storage, using batteries and then retransmitting the power as it is demanded.

This is quite possibly why the Hydrogen option is still on the cards.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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boronia wrote:Constance is not well known for his rational announcements.
Speaking of rational, he could have saved 2/3rds of the costs and carbon emissions by flying closer to mainland China where electric buses make up 90%+ of entire fleets.

I was in there in 2013/2014 where electric buses were a very common sight. Meanwhile in Sydney 2019, we are two months away from a delayed light rail line opening... and adjust yet another electric bus trial.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by Campbelltown busboy »

This rollout might end up as a return to the pre 1990 DMT single bus to route licensing rules witch will be a mess
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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It was strange watching one of the battery buses sitting at a set of lights in silence. I was like a stalled 405NH and I was waiting for the driver to crank it up again
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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Merc1107 wrote:[We already have infrastructure on the brink of collapse during summer heat-waves, with the energy authorities pleading with householders to minimise their peak electrical usage.
Why would the buses be charged during peak? Can't modern buses run all day on a single charge? Surely they'd be charging them at night only?

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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Merc1107 wrote: Even if electric and battery technology is the solution, they're going to have to figure out a way to deal with the mind-boggling demands a city full of electric vehicles is going to place on the electricity grid... We already have infrastructure on the brink of collapse during summer heat-waves, with the energy authorities pleading with householders to minimise their peak electrical usage.
But at peak air-conditioning load in the afternoon/ early evening all those buses will be out on the road.

By the time they are back in the depot to 'refuel', the grid will be winding back and there will be spare transmission capacity.


Somehow, I don't think renewable sources charging monster battery arrays that then get transmitted again, only to charge another battery is the solution. There must be quite the efficiency loss between transmission to storage, using batteries and then retransmitting the power as it is demanded.

This is quite possibly why the Hydrogen option is still on the cards.
The Hydrogen cycle is not very efficient - even today's batteries can better the 'round trip' cycle of generating electricity, storage in a battery (or as hydrogen), transmission (transport) , decant and then conversion back to electricity. And the battery cycle has two cycles - grid-level storage and then on vehicle storage and it can still beat out hydrogen for end-to-end.

There will certainly be a place for a hydrogen cycle in certain applications, but it's not efficient enough to be the main energy conduit.

Storing cryogenically compressed hydrogen is hard. Compressing it to that level is hard. It has to be highly compressed and cold or you can not carry enough to do useful work. It's all well-understood stuff, but that doesn't change the physics.

And the cheapest way currently to make hydrogen is still 'steam reforming' of Natural Gas, where you strip off the carbon and throw it away (i.e vent CO2 to the atmosphere). Not very clean at all. Might as well burn the natural gas directly in a modified ICE and skip all the mucking about.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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matthewg wrote:But at peak air-conditioning load in the afternoon/ early evening all those buses will be out on the road.

By the time they are back in the depot to 'refuel', the grid will be winding back and there will be spare transmission capacity.
jpp42 wrote:Why would the buses be charged during peak? Can't modern buses run all day on a single charge? Surely they'd be charging them at night only?
So what about in-motion or flash-recharging solutions used to extend the range of vehicles?

And if you are recharging outside the peaks (at night etc) - yes a valid point, but won't everybody with an electric car be doing the same? Even after the morning rush, I imagine at least some vehicles will need recharging to go out for a full shift in the afternoon. So still potential for greater loading on the electricity system than we've already got.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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Merc1107 wrote:And if you are recharging outside the peaks (at night etc) - yes a valid point, but won't everybody with an electric car be doing the same? Even after the morning rush, I imagine at least some vehicles will need recharging to go out for a full shift in the afternoon. So still potential for greater loading on the electricity system than we've already got.
If EV can't last a full day, it's likely to have a small battery so it shouldn't put that much strain on the system to charge because there's not much to charge. Not to mention they will be working in a world with EVs that won't need a midday recharge. You seem to be making an assumption that all EVs will be energy-intensive SUVs that need charging all the time.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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rogf24 wrote: If EV can't last a full day, it's likely to have a small battery so it shouldn't put that much strain on the system to charge because there's not much to charge. Not to mention they will be working in a world with EVs that won't need a midday recharge. You seem to be making an assumption that all EVs will be energy-intensive SUVs that need charging all the time.
No, I didn't make that assumption at all (if anything, I imagine buses require far more energy than some SUV with a sub-par battery). I merely asked how we plan to cope with the electrical demands of EVs given an electrical grid that already seems stressed; where a higher peak load or prolonged peak usage might cause issues.

The discussion in other threads surrounding in motion or flash recharging and range anxiety suggests batteries aren't quite there yet; and they certainly won't improve with age. So that plays into the question I posed too.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Post by rogf24 »

Merc1107 wrote:electrical grid that already seems stressed
Honestly, I think there's been a lot of mismanagement with the grid. With better management plus some minor upgrades (but nothing major), I don't think this should be a big issue. Things like household solar+storage will help too.
Merc1107 wrote:The discussion in other threads surrounding in motion or flash recharging and range anxiety suggests batteries aren't quite there yet; and they certainly won't improve with age. So that plays into the question I posed too.
All depends on the size of the battery. There's quite a lot of action going on here which should help with energy/weight.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

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I suspect battery buses are at or near the point they can do a full shift without needing to duck away for 'flash' recharge. You want to avoid fast charging anyway as it reduces the life of the battery. Much of Telsa's IP is around managing the fast charging of the battery - particularly monitoring the heat and arrangement of the cooling. And even Telsa don't recommend using their superchargers as the ONLY way of charging you car and have implemented software limits on fast charging to save the batteries from impatient users.
If they can get the buses to the point they run a day and then can charge for 8hrs overnight in the depot, there will be a tipping point - diesel and gas for powering urban buses will die off quickly.

Non-urban buses will take longer - and may be in for a shock - there will be no fuel powered hand-me-downs from the city, they will have to buy custom buses new with engines for those long country routes where the bus may be out of the depot for days. Having to buy new instead of 2nd hand may affect the viability of these operations.

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