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Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:52 am
by tonyp
Transport Canberra has borrowed the second Yutong E12 Australian demonstrator (unfortunately also with non-standard high floor) for trial in Canberra. (They've already trialled the BYD/Gemilang electric bus.) They've also announced that they will buy no more diesel buses after 2025.

https://www.facebook.com/TransportCanbe ... 464732148/

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:26 am
by Fleet Lists
After 2015??? Well past.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:53 am
by tonyp
Fleet Lists wrote:After 2015??? Well past.

Edited, thanks!

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:00 am
by 1whoknows
This demonstrator is the one from the recent bus show in Melbourne, not the same one that was at Nowra and now in region 6.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:28 am
by tonyp
Findings of the previous ACT trials:

https://www.transport.act.gov.au/__data ... ssment.pdf

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:35 am
by Merc1107
tonyp wrote:They've also announced that they will buy no more diesel buses after 2025.
Is this not a cheeky way of saying, "we might buy some CNG buses if we find electrics aren't suitable for all our operational needs"?

Interesting CNG wasn't included as part of the trial. But then again, this another area where something that seems popular and functional overseas "doesn't work" in Australia. Pity as we have an abundance of the stuff domestically versus stockpiles of fuel supplies that (at best) will last just three weeks in the event something goes pear-shaped in the Middle East.

It was also interesting to read that while there were no concerns about the range or recharge time of an electric during the trial given the scheduling arrangements; they were concerned this would become problematic where buses were expected to run two full shifts back-to-back. If I'm reading the information correctly, their longest shift travels 350km, and the electric's range is 450km (it would also be interesting to know what the average distance of a full shift in Canberra is). The remaining 100km would be barely adequate to cover a second-half of a spread.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:11 pm
by ZIB-585
"Leased", not borrowed, with the option to purchase.

Canberra already runs CNG buses - since 2004. The ACT Government is aiming for zero emissions, so new CNG buses will definitely not be purchased.

The last bus tender (RfEOI, but close enough) called for low emissions buses; minimum range requirement was 400km. According to their brochures, Yutong E12 is closer to 250-300km which makes me wonder if they've added batteries to increase the range. The standing capacity has been reduced from 25 to 17 which supports this theory.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:41 pm
by tonyp
It's an unfortunate distortion in the trial that diesel buses were found to be more reliable as, traditionally, electric vehicles like trolleybuses and trams, are more reliable (less downtime) than diesel vehicles because they are less complex. It seems, as the report suggests, that there are quality issues with the Chinese-built buses and this is the cause of the reduced reliability. It's a pity they can't trial a European bus, but I suspect they wouldn't find one on the market in RHD. However, I hope they can trial Volgren's offering too, as they are a good body designer and builder.

I note also the drivers' comment about the whining noise from the BYD electric bus. A good electric bus should be quiet on the inside as well as outside, but I have observed previously from using the BYDs at Sydney Airport that they do whine badly - in fact, I remember observing to myself that they were noisier than a diesel! However, the Yutong is way better and the drivers should be pleasantly surprised. Their biggest issue is going to be the weight/passenger capacity equation. The Yutong also has very poor seat pitch - they've obviously tried to fit in as many seats as possible to compensate for the shorter cabin space, but they forget that people have legs.

The other problem is having a high floor at the back of these buses in order to fit more batteries on board.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:28 am
by 1whoknows
Despite the misleading hype from the Victorian government, the Volgren offering is simply their body on a Chinese BYD chassis.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:22 am
by tonyp
1whoknows wrote:Despite the misleading hype from the Victorian government, the Volgren offering is simply their body on a Chinese BYD chassis.

Yes I'm aware of that, but I would be hopeful that Volgren can do a better job on the body design and internal layout and seat pitch.

Re: Electric bus trial

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:54 am
by ZIB-585
The Yutong (now known as BUS 490) has seen some limited use in the past few days. Presumably not many drivers have been trained yet.