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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth buses

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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth buses

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:10 am

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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - 2019

Postby Squiddy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:26 am

tonyp wrote:https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-news/1903/volgren-and-volvo-announce-largest-ever-australian-bus-supply-deal?fbclid=IwAR0LFDrY6_K6nAhdTWvlYwrEBLnsPfoONRbeZFXlIU12F1tB0Qx14rq-5iw



I think this would be better suited to having it's own thread rather than being buried in here
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Mr OC Benz » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:29 pm

PTA website wrote:Monday, March 18, 2019 / Categories: PTA News

Local business to help build next generation of Transperth buses

The next generation of Transperth buses will hit local streets later this year, after the Public Transport Authority entered into a new contract to deliver 900 new buses over the next decade.

The $549 million contract has been awarded to Volvo Australia which will use Malaga-based company, Volgren to fit-out the new fleet of buses.

The new buses will replace those reaching the end of their useful life, and to expand the fleet as METRONET projects come on-line.

The modern, aluminium, low-floor diesel buses will have USB charging points, meet Euro6 emissions standards and will be fully accessible.

Volvo also outlined its potential to supply alternate technologies - including hybrid and full electric buses, which may be considered for trial in the future if such technologies are considered viable for Perth.

In partnership with local manufacturer Volgren, Volvo will deliver eight new buses a month for the next decade under the milestone agreement.

The bus chassis will be built at Volvo's headquarters in Sweden, before being delivered to Volgren. The local manufacturer will then build the bus body and fit-out the vehicles to be ready for service.

The contract secures the jobs of 81 local Volgren employees, and a further 80 throughout the local supply chain. Under the new contract, Volgren also plan on increasing local fabrication and securing a local sub component manufacturer.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Bus-1809 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:30 pm

Guess that marks the end of the CNG Program...

Not enthused... :evil:
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:56 pm

Do I take that reference to ""low-floor" buses with a grain of salt - they'll actually still be low-entry buses? Another decade of hundreds of low entry buses well after the technology for citybuses has long since moved forward is a depressing thought. I wonder will there be flexibility to vary the chassis as time goes on - like low floor, artic. Electric is at least mentioned but it's not really a strong statement of a commitment to advance the technology. The face of the bus industry will be completely different in ten years time. The Transperth fleet will be really technologically dated if it's just going to be more of the same.
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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth b

Postby TP1462 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:34 pm

PTA and the minister could have easily selected buses from a different manufacturer with more advanced technology but it’s public money and they need to do what’s in the public’s best interests in practical terms so the buses need to be low maintenance, highly reliable with a good warranty period with strong after sales support and Volvo came out on tops perhaps the reliability issues with the Mercedes and CNG demonstrator fleets would have had some sway in this business decision


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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth b

Postby TP1462 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:36 pm

Bus-1809 wrote:Guess that marks the end of the CNG Program...

Not enthused... :evil:


I don’t think their is really a market for it anymore the world has moved onto improving and refining diesel technology as well as further developing and introducing hybrid and full electric drive solutions


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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Merc1107 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:00 am

TP1462 wrote:
Bus-1809 wrote:Guess that marks the end of the CNG Program...

Not enthused... :evil:


I don’t think their is really a market for it anymore the world has moved onto improving and refining diesel technology as well as further developing and introducing hybrid and full electric drive solutions
Personally I don't think we'll see the end of CNG for a while yet. It's a clean energy source that can meet the same emissions standards as Diesel vehicles, and it's a source of energy of which we've a relative abundance here in Australia - so not a bad idea in terms of energy security, either (which is always a valid concern considering where other energy sources like crude oil originate). It's my understanding that CNG engines are still being developed by the large manufacturers.

tonyp wrote:I wonder will there be flexibility to vary the chassis as time goes on - like low floor, artic.
In terms of the reference to artics (and the previous bit on CNG), I imagine the original tender documents would have outlined the requirements. Hopefully another poster is able to drop-in and share a link to it, which would given an insight into what was sought-after. Personally, I did not read the original tender documents when they were first offered, so cannot accurately speak of what is or is not in them.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:01 am

TP1462 wrote:PTA and the minister could have easily selected buses from a different manufacturer with more advanced technology but it’s public money and they need to do what’s in the public’s best interests in practical terms so the buses need to be low maintenance, highly reliable with a good warranty period with strong after sales support and Volvo came out on tops perhaps the reliability issues with the Mercedes and CNG demonstrator fleets would have had some sway in this business decision

Volvo is also a participant in technology change. Ultimately the technology will solve the high-floor problem as hybrid and electric bus motors don't need a high floor. Frankly I don't see any major city operator in the developed world still acquiring diesel buses in ten years time. Hopefully the contract has the flexibility to encompass those changes.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby 1whoknows » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:08 am

CNG was really a blind alley but useful for an interim period. I dont see it as a valid option for the future.
As others have said hybrids and electrics will become the norm for city bus operation over the next decade or so.
I expect diesel to remain in the mix for coach and rural bus applications for at least another 20 years.
Now that we have Euro 6 emission standards coming in, diesel is really not such a problem any more.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby PoweredByCNG » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:23 pm

CNG engines still have a reason to exist, and it's a reason that isn't exploited at all in Australia.

In many parts of Europe, methane emitted from sewerage and waste disposal is used as a fuel. Biogas, as this product is known, has the potential to be a renewable fuel that can be harnessed and made viable with existing technologies.

Euro VI-compliant CNG engines also require far less in the way of exhaust aftertreatment technologies than Euro VI-compliant diesel engines. as natural gas is an inheritently clean fuel. Engine manufacturers have already demonstrated this, with the latest Scania OC09 offering producing near-identical performance figures to the equivalent DC09 diesel engines, but without the need for AdBlue, expensive high-pressure fuel injection systems or particulate filters.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:20 am

https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-new ... 41AxES2u4A

It looks like there's a review at the five-year point, which will be a good opportunity to review the technology. If they're still producing only low-entry diesel buses in the second five years they're going to be really behind the times, especially considering that those buses will then be in service for another 20 years, meaning ongoing high operating costs and poor environmental credentials.
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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth b

Postby TP1462 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:22 am

tonyp wrote:https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-news/1903/volgren-and-volvo-announce-largest-ever-australian-bus-supply-deal?fbclid=IwAR2joPkoA6ccI6bT4o7bgT3cCNkIwEf65XYr0a95bHW3gptdP41AxES2u4A

It looks like there's a review at the five-year point, which will be a good opportunity to review the technology. If they're still producing only low-entry diesel buses in the second five years they're going to be really behind the times, especially considering that those buses will then be in service for another 20 years, meaning ongoing high operating costs and poor environmental credentials.


first and foremost the buses need to be fit for purpose a diesel fuelled bus has a range of around a 1000km a day roughly as opposed to an electric bus which averages around 200km of range and it’ll be a number of years until the technology catches up furthermore most of that range would be gone on 3-4 trips depended on the shift and some of the longer shifts maybe 1-2 trips so would need to set aside for charging not practical the driver would need to continue on with a different bus and retrofitting charging stations and equipment onto the network at the train stations and bus station layover bays would be a costly exercise and PTA nor the government would recoup the losses so in the short term the Euro 6 diesel is the way to go until electric drive technology has improved enough for it to be rolled out on a large scale which will still be a number of years away when the network is best able to cater for it and the best place to roll it out would be the CATs as a test case as you mentioned the contract does allow for a review after 5 years with hybrid and electric buses in the future


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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:32 am

You might be surprised how much things will have changed in five years!
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby PoweredByCNG » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:19 pm

I don't know of too many buses that could cover 1000km in suburban traffic without needing a refill. Even the most fuel-efficient buses will cover about 800 km safely (and that's brimmed to dry) given that they generally carry between 250 and 300-litres of fuel.

Also I'm not aware of any normal route bus circumstances where a bus needs to cover 1000km a day. Even a route bus that covers two full 10-hour shifts will be lucky to cover 800km.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:37 pm

The tender specifications stipulate a minimum requirement of 18 hours continuous operation or travelling a distance of 500km per day. From the various press releases, it seems that the contract has enough flexibility for technology change if it is deemed appropriate. However, without regulatory/policy change at a federal or state level, and the lack of appetite to spend more than necessary, that's unlikely to occur until electric buses can meet the same or similar operating performance as the diesel fleet. As tonyp says, a lot can change in five years and electric buses may very well be a viable option sooner than we think. We shall wait and see...
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:59 pm

I think introducing electric buses on the CATs (which are in more polluted city centres and have their own separate fleets) is a highly desirable political and practical objective, sooner rather than later, once the best options have emerged from the trials happening on the east coast. CAT operations would probably already fall within the range capabilities of existing technology. The hitch within the parameters of this contract would be the price of the buses and that Volvo may not offer the best technology in the market at this point in time. On the other hand, aren't both CAT operations and fleet purchases funded separately from the Parking Space Levy? If the purchases cost more, this will be counter-balanced by the lower operating costs.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:25 pm

The Perth CAT network is certainly an ideal operating environment, however, don't forget they just recently renewed the fleet, so the majority of CAT buses are not due for replacement until 2026. The 7 Volvo B7RLE's in the current CAT fleet are likely up for replacement in 2023 though but whether we'll see anything markedly different remains to be seen. Given that the buses used for CAT's are required to be compatible for suburban operation (which is where they are delegated to after their 10 year life at CAT's), this reduces the likelihood of electric bus viability on CAT's until that compatibility gap is reduced. The outcomes of the most recent CAT network review will be interesting to see though as it could potentially result in additional buses being required in the fleet - although how they will squeeze anymore buses into the current CAT depot remains to be seen!
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby bussie » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:51 am

Mr OC Benz wrote:The Perth CAT network is certainly an ideal operating environment, however, don't forget they just recently renewed the fleet, so the majority of CAT buses are not due for replacement until 2026. The 7 Volvo B7RLE's in the current CAT fleet are likely up for replacement in 2023 though but whether we'll see anything markedly different remains to be seen. Given that the buses used for CAT's are required to be compatible for suburban operation (which is where they are delegated to after their 10 year life at CAT's), this reduces the likelihood of electric bus viability on CAT's until that compatibility gap is reduced. The outcomes of the most recent CAT network review will be interesting to see though as it could potentially result in additional buses being required in the fleet - although how they will squeeze anymore buses into the current CAT depot remains to be seen!

Maybe they could make use of James St Layover/Elizabeth Quay as overnight parking locations after refuelling at Claisebrook?
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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth b

Postby TP1462 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:33 am

Mr OC Benz wrote:The tender specifications stipulate a minimum requirement of 18 hours continuous operation or travelling a distance of 500km per day. From the various press releases, it seems that the contract has enough flexibility for technology change if it is deemed appropriate. However, without regulatory/policy change at a federal or state level, and the lack of appetite to spend more than necessary, that's unlikely to occur until electric buses can meet the same or similar operating performance as the diesel fleet. As tonyp says, a lot can change in five years and electric buses may very well be a viable option sooner than we think. We shall wait and see...
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:11 am

If anybody doesn't believe that the transition to electric is serious, get a load of this:

https://www.intelligenttransport.com/tr ... pollution/

Thes 800 buses will be acquired in half the timescale of Perth's 900 diesels.

And this is without mentioning bus operations in China.
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Local business to help build next generation of Transperth b

Postby TP1462 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:21 pm

tonyp wrote:If anybody doesn't believe that the transition to electric is serious, get a load of this:

https://www.intelligenttransport.com/tr ... pollution/

Thes 800 buses will be acquired in half the timescale of Perth's 900 diesels.

And this is without mentioning bus operations in China.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Squiddy » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:34 pm

TP1462 wrote:
tonyp wrote:If anybody doesn't believe that the transition to electric is serious, get a load of this:

https://www.intelligenttransport.com/tr ... pollution/

Thes 800 buses will be acquired in half the timescale of Perth's 900 diesels.

And this is without mentioning bus operations in China.


Just because something may work in Paris doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work in Perth given Perth is about 6 times bigger than Paris in kilometres squared now I’ve managed to find some accurate specifications regarding suppliers and range which is roughly between 180 & 250km depended on battery capacity the French have also invested heavily in the infrastructure especially charging points to support the switch we barely have the infrastructure to support electric cars and fast charging points let alone electric buses Bill Shorten’s plan for 50% electric cars by 2030 is barely achievable how do we manage electric buses?. Most European capitals are very dense and don’t have to cover the sheer distance that we have to cover in Australia especially in the regional centres an electric bus wouldn’t make it to Albany or Geraldton let alone Karratha even some of the suburban routes would be pushing the range the same can be said for the Parisian bus system and there is nowhere to recharge it it’ll be a long time until electric drive is truly viable upgrading the existing highway and road network to allow for the infrastructure to be supported is a step in the right direction including bus depots which will take years to complete and charging stations aren’t cheap either also fast charging for buses is still a novelty. Proterra has a system up to 500kW that can deliver up to 60km of charge every 10 minutes, having said all this electric vehicles aren’t exactly more environmentally friendly than the internal combustion engine given mining for lithium isn’t exactly environmentally friendly and cobalt will get more inherently expensive as demand increases and electric buses just like cars are still inherently more expensive than their conventional diesel counterparts once we run out of cobalt and lithium then what?

https://www.proterra.com/technology/chargers/

https://www.news.com.au/technology/inno ... 4c91b17505

https://insideevs.com/news/345704/paris ... ric-buses/


Just quoting what TP1462 posted above, since it's mildly frustrating to keep coming back to empty comments after they mysteriously disappear one way or another after an hour.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby tonyp » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:56 am

Well keep an eye on developments on NSW and ACT (and now Queensland) where electric buses are now running in regular service with ranges of 300-400 km, using only depot infrastructure that wasn't too difficult or costly to install (and in the case of Nowra at least, solar-powered). The main point I'm making is that it's moving along faster than you think and it will be a good thing that the Perth order has a halfway review point.

In view of this discussion, this amusing headline popped up in a search!

https://reneweconomy.com.au/brisbane-lo ... urs-46844/

Of course, Brisbane is yet to prove itself. It is definitely better to sit back and wait while others who can more afford it do the development first. On the other hand, it's unwise to over-invest in a technology that will become obsolescent during its lifetime.
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Re: Local business to help build next generation of Transper

Postby Merc1107 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:18 pm

tonyp wrote:The main point I'm making is that it's moving along faster than you think and it will be a good thing that the Perth order has a halfway review point.
Reading the tender documents for a number of the areas whose operational contracts are up for grabs, it is quite clear that what we are looking at in terms of fleet replacement at this stage is 900 buses, with diesel being the choice for deliveries initially and alternative fuel/power sources under consideration further down the track. It is worth noting when Perth began to adopt CNG buses on a large scale in the early 2000s, this was a change to the contract for vehicle supply.

I think it is wise that Perth holds off on electric in the short-term. If vehicles are unsuitable for current and future needs, it seems foolish to invest in a product that isn't yet ready for our requirements and have the issue in future of having to replace the vehicles prematurely (for more capable vehicles) or expend significant amounts of money attempting to rectify issues with earlier models. Given the pack pace of technological development, there's nothing to say electric vehicles based on battery power won't be obsolete in 10 years, either.
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