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Captain Hybrid

Electric School Bus Eliminates 'Range Anxiety'

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jhankwitz
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Platinum
Re: Predetermined routes a strong suit
jhankwitz   2/9/2012 1:11:14 PM
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Electric companies will be anxious to get their power grid loaded and used over night. It would be great if the electric companies could control the time and sequence of overnight charging to help even out grid load.  There's an over abundance of electricity available on the grid, starting at about 10:00 at night and ending around 7:00 in the morning.

The comment about a 13 ton school bus needing less surge to get started than a small electric car is taxing my intelligence.  A shcool bus driver presses the pedal as hard if not harder than a car driver to get started.  Its battery may be larger, but it's still one heck of a load to get going, especially when you've got 40 passengers on board.

Charles Murray
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Re: School bus range anxiety not completely solved
Charles Murray   2/9/2012 5:04:03 PM
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bdcst, you raise good points about the viability of this tchnology in rural communities. Here's another potential problem: Some rural communities have multiple children who live as many as ten miles from the school. If you add up the mileage for all the morning pick-ups, and then realize that the bus has to be recharged for all the afternoon drop-offs, the range may not be enough.   

Justajo
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Gold
Re: School bus range anxiety not completely solved
Justajo   2/9/2012 6:02:09 PM
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School bus range is the least of many school boards' problems these days. Because of falling tax revenues, how far their money will go is. Investing in electric buses is committing to a very long payback. The article says such buses will cost "considerably more" than diesel-fueled buses. This is exactly what will be looked at when it comes to replacing fleets. When school districts by the hundreds are cutting back on essentials such as teachers and upgraded textbooks, going green will not be on their agenda. Sorry. As much as this is to be desired, this isn't the time it will happen in many areas. It will be a matter of the haves and have nots. Those schools who have the revenue will get; those who do not will have to make do with what they got.

William K.
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Platinum
Electric school buses: no range problems
William K.   2/9/2012 6:59:02 PM
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Aside from the additional loads on the grid there is a huge problem with electric school bus use, at least in my city, which is that nobody will be able to service them. That will probably mean also that there will be a union electrician required to plug them in for recharging every evening. So the reduced cost of powering the buses will be offset by the much increased costs of every other aspect of owning them. One more question is how would these buses be heated? Electric heat is a poor choice for any application at any time, and fueled heaters would sort of reduce the environmental savings a bit. About the only problem that they would solve would be the range problem.

vimalkumarp
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Gold
Electric School Bus Eliminates 'Range Anxiety'
vimalkumarp   2/10/2012 12:13:59 AM
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Innovation must understand the need and should not try to embed the soultion in it. I think this project has really understood the need. There are always going to be electrification applications that fit nicely in the 100-mile duty cycle," Hansel said. "School buses are one of those applications." This proves that. Good work

chuckles185
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Iron
Electric Bus Eliminates Range Anxiety
chuckles185   2/10/2012 10:33:49 AM
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It seems to me that the electric bus would also be an excellent place to put solar panels (on the roof).  You should be able to get at least 90 watts of panels on the roof to charge the battery with during daylight hours.  Even if you lay them flat, could extend the range of the bus by several miles.    Just a thought. 

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Predetermined routes a strong suit
Charles Murray   2/10/2012 7:10:09 PM
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Good comment about the nighttime charging. With some of the new smart grid applications, the buses could automatically charge at midnight, even if they get plugged in immediately after the school day ends.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: School bus range anxiety not completely solved
Alexander Wolfe   2/11/2012 1:39:45 PM
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The bus shell is innovative -- it doesn't look ugly like every other school bus -- and the range issue is adapted perfectly to the application. That said, Justajo and William K, make critical points about the cost of acquisition and service of these buses. To that I'd add, I don't know how it is in most cities, but in New York and New Jersey, there are a bunch of school buses companies and they're all independent companies which bid for business with the cities and various school boards. So it goes beyond getting school boards to buy these things; there has to be an economic argument at the contractor, which is orders of magnitude harder. So unless there are some special grants involved to test deployment of these electric buses, I think they're going to have a tough row to hoe.

Plus, for kids now in college, Electric School Bus is the name of a CD-based game from Microsoft, where the bus drives around in outer space, not an actual vehicle on the road :)

jhankwitz
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Platinum
Re: Electric Bus Eliminates Range Anxiety
jhankwitz   2/11/2012 6:33:02 PM
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Solar panels on a bus roof would be difficult:

1. Likely get the eguivelant energy as a tablesponn of gas.

2. Who's going to keep them clean, and at what cost?

3. Panels would have to be built extreemly robust to survive use.

4. The top-loaded weight woulod make the bus enven more unstable that it already is. 

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Electric Bus Eliminates Range Anxiety
Charles Murray   2/13/2012 1:34:22 PM
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I'll add one to your list, jhankwitz. In coudy northern climates, the're's a low percentage of time when useful sunlight is available.

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