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Edmonton plans to buy only electric transit buses beginning in 2020

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  • Edmonton plans to buy only electric transit buses beginning in 2020

    Phasing out the diesels.

    City council's executive committee was told on Tuesday that a purchase order was issued in July 2017 for 110 new diesel buses at a cost of approximately $45.7 million US.


    The greenhouse gas emissions from one old diesel bus are equivalent to the emissions from sixty of the new diesel buses, said Robar.


    "This is one of the older fleets in Canada," Robar said of the Edmonton Transit fleet.


    The current ETS fleet consists of 931 buses, including 46 small community buses, 852 large transit buses and 33 articulated buses.


    A report to the executive committee states that replacing the large transit buses at a rate of 40 to 60 buses per year would take approximately 18 years to replace the entire fleet of 852.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...obar-1.4276453

  • #2
    I have been a bit skeptical (I always thought natural gas is the way to go), but maybe the technology is there now.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_electric_bus

    Advantages

    Battery electric buses offer zero-emission, quiet operation and better acceleration compared to traditional buses. They also eliminate infrastructure needed for a constant grid connection and allow routes to be modified without infrastructure changes compared to a Trolleybus. They typically recover braking energy to increase efficiency by a regenerative brake. With energy consumption of about 1.2 kWh/km, the cost of ownership is lower than diesel buses.[3][4]

    Disadvantages

    As of 2016 battery buses have less range, higher weight, higher procurement costs. The reduced infrastructure for overhead lines is partially offset by the costs of the infrastructure to recharge the batteries. Battery buses are used almost exclusively in urban areas rather than for long-haul transport. Urban transit features relatively short intervals between charging opportunities. Sufficient recharging can take place within 4 to 5 minutes (250 to 450 kW) usually by induction or catenary.[3]

    The trolley bus folks will be happy - all of the benefits of a trolley bus (no pollution within the city), but none of the downside (high maintenance costs of system / driver dissatisfaction re regular wire dislocations / wire pollution / route inflexibility).
    Last edited by moahunter; 06-09-2017, 08:22 AM.

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    • #3
      I'm curious how the deep winter affects the charge of batteries on these buses, and electric vehicles in general in Edmonton. I know my cell phone bottoms much faster when the temperature drops below freezing, especially when it approaches -20. Does having the ranks of cells packaged together provide enough heat to counter the cold?

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      • #4
        Pretty sure that modern vehicle battery packs require both heating and cooling, depending on their operation. Plus software controls which cells are being used to distribute heat and wear. What I find more interesting is the impact on our grid of hundreds of very high capacity batteries charging at night, every night. I'm not saying that's a bid thing, if anything it's good that they'll be charging off-peak as that's when power is cheapest. It gets in to the whole "smart grid" thing where potentially hundreds of these buses (and eventually, tens of thousands of cars) could be grid-scale storage or buffers when they're not being used. Buses wouldn't help much with solar intermittency as they're mostly driving around when solar is working, but it could help with wind.

        The power draw of bus barns equipped to charge electric buses are going to be incredible, although I suppose it's not as critical to charge them in only an hour or two, as they're mostly parked overnight.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
          The power draw of bus barns equipped to charge electric buses are going to be incredible, although I suppose it's not as critical to charge them in only an hour or two, as they're mostly parked overnight.
          Yeah, it's gonna be interesting to see how they handle the needed upgrades, as that's a lot of juice to recharge hundreds of busses at once. A. Lot.
          Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ustauk View Post
            I'm curious how the deep winter affects the charge of batteries on these buses, and electric vehicles in general in Edmonton. I know my cell phone bottoms much faster when the temperature drops below freezing, especially when it approaches -20. Does having the ranks of cells packaged together provide enough heat to counter the cold?
            No issues. There's a handful of Tesla owners in my area and they don't have any problems. Besides, buses won't be idling long enough to get cold. Those batteries will be constantly charging/discharging.
            "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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            • #7
              What if there is a serious power outage, how can this bus get recharged?
              Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

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              • #8
                The power requirements needed to charge 120 busses means they'd be looking at a direct tie-in from multiple substations, making a complete failure highly, highly, highly unlikely.
                Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

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                • #9
                  Hamster wheel.



                  Top_Dawg says stick with the good ol' combustion engine.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by noodle View Post
                    The power requirements needed to charge 120 busses means they'd be looking at a direct tie-in from multiple substations, making a complete failure highly, highly, highly unlikely.
                    I assume the buses will charge at night when not running? City should install solar with some batteries. Fill batteries during day, charge buses at night. Won't be enough to completely charge, but it would be an offset for sure.
                    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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                    • #11
                      Here's a little envelope math for you based on my own usage.

                      Currently you can buy a Tesla with a 100kWh battery pack. That's enough power to run my condo for about 8 days, if I plugged my panel into the car instead of the grid. If I recharge my car from flat to full in 8 hours, that means my usage (just for my one car) is ~8 days of my household usage compressed into 1/3 of a day, an increase of about 25x versus my baseline, no-Tesla consumption.

                      And that's ONE Tesla.
                      Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

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                      • #12
                        Yup. It's likely those buses will have battery packs of 200-300 kWh to be able to drive 500 km a day, at a very rough guess. Multiply that by 800 buses, which is roughly the city's bus fleet, and that's about 200 mWh's that will need to be replenished overnight, every night. Assuming that it's over 8 hours, that's a continuous draw of about 25 megawatts to recharge the bus fleet, every single night. To put that in perspective, that's something like 3% of the power production of Keephills. It's a very, very significant amount of power. Again, I don't think it's any more of a problem than it is an opportunity, but there's practical realities to consider.

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                        • #13
                          Some of the charging could be distributed to other parts of the day. A significant fraction of buses are back in the garage from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, which would match nicely with the availability of solar power. Peak hour buses will also start returning around 7 or 8 pm, so those could be charged before the last of the fleet arrives in the early morning.

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                          • #14
                            The 1800 panels on top of Londonderry Mall would be good for about 1900 charges a year & that's a large solar installation.

                            Buying at off-peak times & storing the power in utility-scale batteries (outside of the bus batteries themselves) would be more cost-effective. Especially if the batteries used to store the power were the batteries that had been already used until their capacity shrunk beyond the requirements of the bus but still with plenty of capacity. Baseload generation in the middle of the night is around 2 cents/kWh currently & the batteries would be a common component whether we used grid or solar, but we can skip the dedicated panels.

                            Solar is a fantastic power source, but given the high current requirements for vehicle charging it's a tough hill to climb, especially at transit-scale.
                            Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

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                            • #15
                              ^I don't need the point of storage. Nearly all the buses will be in the garage in the middle of the night when power is cheapest, and if solar is installed on the garage roof (more for feel-good environmental reasons than cost), half or more of the fleet will be parked there during peak generation hours and AC demand will create a good market for surplus power on summer afternoons when the buses are out.

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