Electric bus trial

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tonyp
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Electric bus trial

Post 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/
Last edited by tonyp on Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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After 2015??? Well past.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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Fleet Lists wrote:After 2015??? Well past.
Edited, thanks!
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Re: Electric bus trial

Post 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.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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Findings of the previous ACT trials:

https://www.transport.act.gov.au/__data ... ssment.pdf
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Re: Electric bus trial

Post 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.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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"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.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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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.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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Despite the misleading hype from the Victorian government, the Volgren offering is simply their body on a Chinese BYD chassis.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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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.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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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.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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Luke Todd, CEO of Nexport has offered to lease 30 BYD buses to Transport for Canberra by October 2021 to enable the early withdrawal of the remaining Renaults, which are all either over or approaching 30 years old. The deal would be for a three year, no obligation lease to the ACT government to demonstrate how quickly the introduction of electric buses would make a difference to Transport Canberra fleet emissions. Included in the offer would be a shared cost installation of recharging infrastructure at Woden depot. The ACT Government is already operating 20 hydrogen powered Hyundai Nexo SUVs from a facility at Fyshwick. It will be interesting to see whether TC takes up this offer.
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Re: Electric bus trial

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Firstly, Woden Depot won't be ready for another 2 years.

Secondly, TC will be issuing a tender (who knows when) for the lease of 34 buses. Nexport can submit their offer along with everyone else.

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Re: Electric bus trial

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The tender was issued last week. They are seeking to lease either 8 electric buses (to be stored at the two existing depots), plus 26 diesels; or 34 electric buses to be based at a new satellite depot / charging location. The lease would include the depot.

If they opt for all electric buses, they may not be in service until October 2022, depending on how long it takes to build the depot.

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Re: Electric bus trial

Post by BAMBAM »

Nothing offical or saying these companies have rendered for the contract but an interesting article to read.

https://www.actbus.net/new-electric-bu ... 1bcOenMp0U
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Re: Electric bus trial

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You might want to fix the link. It's https://www.actbus.net/new-electric-bus ... ontenders/

And yes, all of the companies included have responded to the tender request for the eight bus lease. What is not known is what has been offered in terms of model and timeframe.


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Re: Electric bus trial

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BAMBAM wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:38 am Nothing offical or saying these companies have rendered for the contract but an interesting article to read.

https://www.actbus.net/new-electric-bu ... 1bcOenMp0U
Thank you for that. It would appear that Bustech still doesn't have their own Mk 2 ZDi ready because they're offering the Dutch Ebusco model instead.

There are so many out-of-date contenders offering high floor (low-entry) models when such a configuration is completely unnecessary in an electric bus. Still, they've found a compatible potential customer in TC which seems to have a penchant for subjecting its customers to as many stairs as possible in each successive bus order. I'm surprised that they didn't insist that stairs be fitted to the trams as well.

If TC wants to move into the modern era, there are only two serious contenders with up-to-date flat-floored stepless buses here:

. Custom Denning's Element

. The Volgren-bodied Volvo (presumed, but interior yet to be seen)

There are a couple of other possible contenders, based on catalogue renders, but those may not be the Australian offering:

Ebusco appears to be a fully low-floor bus, but when I delve into their details it seems that their three-door model is flat-floored but the two-door is low-entry only. Remains to be seen.

Foton looks from their graphics to have a low floor nearly to the back with a couple of hefty step-ups to the back couple of rows, so not fully stepless gangway. Remains to be seen.

The rest are low-entry buses, often with some quite hefty step-ups to the high floor: ARCC, BCI, Optare, Yutong and any Nexport BYD chassis, whether bodied by Gemilang, Volgren or Alexander Dennis. These are all basically outdated designs. I found it amusing to read Ebusco's blurb where they describe their low-floor as "revolutionary" when fully low-floor has been standard in Europe for some 25 years, even on diesels. Ebusco would know that too, but why be straightforward in advertising when you can throw a bit of bs around to mislead anybody who doesn't know the field?
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Re: Electric bus trial

Post by tonyp »

I have posted some further news about Ebusco in Australia in the NSW forum:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=90408&p=1081346#p1081346
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