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Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:09 am

matthewg wrote: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.

The sort of rural buses you are talking about are coach-type buses for which there is no second-hand source among citybus operations anyway. However country commuter buses are identical or similar to their city counterparts. The Yutong now running in Sydney started its life as an inter-town commuter bus on the south coast with no problems. I see no obstacle to electric buses being used in country commuter service other than the costs involved for the operator in setting up the electricity supply (apparently Nowra Coaches, which fitted a solar installation to its depot, had some difficulty negotiating favourable rates from the electricity supplier.)

It's interesting from Constance's comments that TfNSW has already reached the conclusion from trials that WOL costs for an electric bus are no more than for a diesel. In other words, they may be more expensive to purchase but they are cheaper to run and maintain. That's something that European operations have known for many years but I guess these things have to be "rediscovered" as they filter out around the world.

I maintain my cautionary position on flash or opportunity charging, not only for the additional infrastructure and power supply costs and effects on battery life as Matthew has pointed out, but because of downtime. The benchmark for electric buses is trolleybuses (which the new generation of electric bus proponents like to treat with contempt, unfortunately ignoring the long and valuable experience offered). They have virtually no downtime, even better than a diesel bus in that respect. They are still the preferred choice of 24 hour operations. Below this you have degrees of downtime. Charging overnight is next best if you're not running for 24 hours. Next down the scale is opportunity charging at terminus layovers. This may be OK if the buses are always running on time and there are several minutes available at the layover. If the bus is late and has to recover by shortening the layover time, bang goes your opportunity charge or else the bus stays late.

By far the worst is the flash charge during an en-route stop. You can see the results of that in the yawning stop dwells of the Newcastle tram operation which is one of the worst examples of a technology con job. In the typical dozy Australian bus operation with its front-door loading and long dwells, such opportunity charges may get away with going unnoticed, but in the really busy European operations with all-door loading through multiple doors in frequently 10-15 seconds, opportunity charging en route is a no-goer. All these issues need to be carefully thought through rather than just charging in yelling hallelujah. As Matthew mentions, the optimum position at the moment is that we can probably generally get a 12 metre bus running on a full normal daily roster (not 24 hours) with only overnight recharge. Artics and deckers I still see issues with. That means if Constance wants to overturn the "one size fits all" philosophy and have electric buses, there are still issues to overcome.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby matthewg » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:18 am

tonyp wrote:The sort of rural buses you are talking about are coach-type buses for which there is no second-hand source among citybus operations anyway. However country commuter buses are identical or similar to their city counterparts.


I was more thinking of my recent visit to the UK, were short wheelbase London spec 'deckers are wobbling down country lanes dodging the overhanging trees... :-)

(And our habit of blindly copying UK practice.)
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Stonesourscotty » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:18 am

Comparing London buses with provincial buses is like comparing Australia to Lebanon. First world v Third world. The standard of London buses is dreadful compared to the glorious wooden floor high coach seat 4g WiFi Usb charging long wheelbase double decker buses we have in the provinces.

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:36 pm

Merc1107 wrote: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?


Amsterdam has the largest fleet of electric buses according to the below article, and they're articulated electric buses too. Those are for the regional private operator, but Amsterdams own urban City operator (think the STA of Amsterdam) is receiving their own mass bulk order for delivery in 2020 to gradually replace the entire diesel fleet by 2025. I look forward to seeing these and catching a ride on one whenever I next visit.
https://www.vdlgroep.com/en/news/europe ... -operation
https://www.sustainable-bus.com/electri ... rdam-city/

VDL Citea Electric, comes in both a rigid version and an 18m artic. Constance has actually referenced Amsterdam and Paris to boot, in terms of electric buses, which is nice to see something outside the UK get recognition.

Anyways, back on topic on our side of the world, I'm all for electric buses. If it actually means for now no more new diesel buses...then I'm comfortable with that because STA just stockpiled a bulk order of B8RLE's this year which I'm a fan of. I however do not want to see the BYD Gemilang electric's that TSA have, become a mainline product here, while I generally like the bus itself, I am pretty critical of the relatively low amount of seats in this bus type. There's just 36 in a single bus, feels way more like a midi, in comparison, an STA-spec'd CB80 rigid has 47 seats and gosh even Bustech Midi has more seats at 39.

But yeah lets see what the future will bring. Daniel Andrews in Victoria unveiled a Volgren Optimus-electric to shortly enter service as a trial which looks pretty sweet - maybe we'll see that one come to NSW too.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby tonyp » Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:30 pm

Paris has a couple of Yutong E12 demonstrators like us, but of course with the standard fully low floor. These battery buses have compromises, notably a large equipment cabinet at the back that basically costs a row of seats. Some of the smarter European manufacturers like SOR manage to keep that low enough to put a row of seats on top of it, but seating capacity is typically no more than about 35 for a three-door 12 metre. However, they all manage to preserve a fully low floor, as they should, as there's no hunking big diesel engine under there. The Australian default to a high floor is poor design form for a bus type that should finally facilitate overcoming that deficiency.
Last edited by tonyp on Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:49 pm

tonyp wrote:Paris has a couple of Yutong E12 demonstrators like us, but of course with the standard fully low floor. These battery buses have compromises, notably a large equipment cabinet at the back that basically costs a row of seats. Some of the smarter European manufacturers like SOR manage to keep that low enough to put a row of seats on top of it, but capacity is typically no more than about 35 for a three-door 12 metre. However, they all manage to preserve a fully low floor, as they should, as there's no hunking big diesel engine under there. The Australian default to a high floor is poor design form for a bus type that should finally facilitate overcoming that deficiency.
If there was a federal based public transport agency like I was asking about here
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90131
And I suggested in a 2016 fantasy network thread
viewtopic.php?f=71&t=82362
Then we would have a national standard when it comes to the floor layout for buses
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Linto63 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:30 pm

Stonesourscotty wrote:Comparing London buses with provincial buses is like comparing Australia to Lebanon. First world v Third world. The standard of London buses is dreadful compared to the glorious wooden floor high coach seat 4g WiFi Usb charging long wheelbase double decker buses we have in the provinces.
They would be the wooden floors that remarkably have the same feeling as laminate and the USB ports that don't work because some oik has decided to stick a bit of chewing gum in it? Nice as having buses fitted out to semi-coach standards might be, not very practical in a metropolitan environment. London buses are more or less built to the same specs as for regional metropolitan operators, save for having an extra door and in some cases a shorter wheelbase.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Stonesourscotty » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:33 pm

Not where I lived [emoji2957] and some where even on routes into the slums of Liverpool and oddly not vandalised like the bogans of aus do..

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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby moa999 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:37 pm

I don't mind the wood look floors. Feel a bit warmer and don't show dirt and marks as much, but all they are is the latest fashion.

USB and WiFi are a pointless extravagance Inna route bus. BYO Charger and SIM, and as mentioned upthread are easily damaged.
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Merc1107 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:51 am

Jurassic_Joke wrote:Amsterdam has the largest fleet of electric buses according to the below article, and they're articulated electric buses too.
I think the way I wrote the prior post perhaps doesn't convey my thoughts as clearly as I'd hoped; perhaps it came across that I was claiming nobody operates electric artics. What I'm actually asking is; given the apparent desire to ultimately phase out artics in Sydney, would electric artics be an additional reason the NSW Government chooses to phase the type out, given more serious short-comings in range and the need for additional infrastructure to support them as a result?
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby tonyp » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:31 am

No, nothing to do with electrics. Those statements came out before electrics were being considered. It's either ideological or somebody has thought artics take up too much road space. (Tram operator says "hold my beer!")
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Stu » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:12 am

Australasian Bus & Coach - 28/10/2019.

BREAKING: Victoria’s first locally built (body), fully electric bus will soon begin a Transdev-run passenger-carrying trial - until January, 2021 - on one of Melbourne’s busiest routes, the State Government has announced.


https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-news/1910/transdev-s-volgren-electric-bus-trial-starts-soon-in-melbourne
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Re: Accelerated rollout of new electric buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:36 am

Already covered in Victorian thread viewtopic.php?f=4&t=86381&start=50
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