Author Topic: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)  (Read 5999 times)

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Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2021, 11:31:52 pm »
Been part of a study into electric buses, so far for 1 use case, they are averaging about 0.85 KWh / km, Assuming the current norm of about 35c / KWh (they pay less), thats 28c per km,

Diesel buses in the same roll are using around 0.35-0.4L / km, which is in the ballpark of 60c per km,

With an average distance of 100km per trip, 40kmph average speeds, in this use case, 2 trips per day, that is about $64 dollars difference per working day, or in the ballpark of $12 grand per year less costs there assuming the normal KWh cost, and not there reduced one.

I cant release the raw data, but those are the averages over almost 1 year of usage.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2021, 11:36:41 pm »
35c/kWh? Holy crap! And here I was annoyed to see that my rates have gone up to 10.1c/kWh.
 

Offline Chupacabras

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2021, 02:40:55 am »
34k vs 18k per year, 2x the maintenance cost for diesel
The most important thing: does that include battery changing? I guess it doesn't. So it's unfair comparison.
If you need to change the battery every 10 years, and the new battery costs 370k, then it's 37k/year+18k/year for regular maintenance so we can compare those numbers.
So it's 34k/year for diesel and 55k/year for electric bus.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2021, 06:27:54 am »
Does the diesel engine require rebuilding during the life of the bus? I know they used to do engine swaps somewhat regularly but I don't know if modern engines last longer. Bus duty must rack up a lot of miles in a hurry.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2021, 08:23:24 am »
Generally motors don't last much more than 1 million km in buses and trucks without needing major reworks or potential replacement, same for the transmission and some other parts,

Though before they reach this many vehicles will be considered for sale before that spike in servicing costs, as by then most of there original value has been written off for tax,

Some companies do deliberatly run very dated vehicles for the opposite reason, in house servicing, many modern vehicles have so much computerised that if something fails, you might have a bus off the road for months while the replacement ships in, assuming they can even diagnose it in house, while buying out 20 old buses for next to nothing and going on a take 2 to make 1 approach can keep those buses going with minimal parts cost for a long time, for things like school runs, where compfortable seats, etc are not really considered,
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 08:28:15 am by Rerouter »
 

Online Jester

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2021, 02:18:41 pm »
I guess the jury is in….In Ottawa, Canada we just purchased 485, 100% battery powered busses replacing the entire diesel fleet over the next few years.  :-+ :-+
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 02:23:47 pm by Jester »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2021, 03:13:36 pm »
There is little common sense in Ottawa these days.
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Online Jester

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2021, 11:02:17 pm »
There is little common sense in Ottawa these days.

I’m all for the electric busses, strongly agree with the common sense out of Ottawa comment, what do expect when the country is run by someone whose greatest former achievement was snow board instructor. I fear for our children.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 02:06:10 am by Jester »
 

Offline cortex_m0

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2021, 07:31:17 pm »
I've wondered how feasible it would be to have overhead charging systems for buses, only at bus stops. Transit buses obviously spend a lot of time loading and unloading passengers through the day. If it were the case that 1 minute charging could operate the bus for 3-5 minutes, it could permit a cheaper and lighter battery on board the bus.

The questions are whether the buses would effectively charge under such a scheme, such infrastructure would be cost-effective. My gut says the answer to both is no, but I haven't tried to put numbers to it.
 

Online Twoflower

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2021, 07:58:23 pm »
I think you're thinking something about this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOSA_(bus). There are several different types trying such an approach. Not sure if that's generally feasible. To be useful you need a good connection to the grid to get enough power to provide a useful amount of energy t the bus.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2021, 02:12:02 am »
Does the diesel engine require rebuilding during the life of the bus? I know they used to do engine swaps somewhat regularly but I don't know if modern engines last longer. Bus duty must rack up a lot of miles in a hurry.

Yes. Someone in the comments somewhere who runs these buses said the engines are completely rebuilt every 8 years or something IIRC.
 
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Offline Rojerki

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2021, 06:41:02 am »
Zürich has had trolley busses for a long time and is now adding batteries to them.
https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/zurich-line-83-now-electric/
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2021, 11:02:47 pm »
The most important thing: does that include battery changing? I guess it doesn't. So it's unfair comparison.
If you need to change the battery every 10 years, and the new battery costs 370k, then it's 37k/year+18k/year for regular maintenance so we can compare those numbers.
So it's 34k/year for diesel and 55k/year for electric bus.

I was responding about yearly maintenance costs only, not long term or overall costs, which you can see in the same papers if you like.

A short range bus generally would be between 160-300kWh battery, current electric car pack costs are under $100/kWh. So it seems a bit absurd to estimate a $370k cost for a battery replacement, even if margin is 2-3x.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2021, 06:05:07 pm »
Does the diesel engine require rebuilding during the life of the bus? I know they used to do engine swaps somewhat regularly but I don't know if modern engines last longer. Bus duty must rack up a lot of miles in a hurry.

Yes. Someone in the comments somewhere who runs these buses said the engines are completely rebuilt every 8 years or something IIRC.
After enough distance travelled an electric motor will need an overhaul as well. Same goes for the gearbox. I have replaced plenty of bearings on electric motors. In the end nothing is free of maintenance. An engine rebuild may sound like an expensive job to do but you really need to put that is a cost per km travelled perspective. On a regular car (a run of the mill, common model) the most expensive parts to maintain are tyres and suspension. I suspect that won't be much different for a bus.
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Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2021, 10:07:19 pm »
While it's true that electric motors do require maintenance now and then, the number of moving parts and the complexity (and thus expense) of a rebuild is drastically lower. Once set up for it an experienced mechanic could likely fully rebuild a bus traction motor in a couple of hours (disassemble, clean, replace two bearings, reassemble and test) whereas a diesel engine is going to take days. Disassemble, take careful measurements, bore the cylinders, regrind the crank and cam if needed, new pistons, rings, bearings throughout, oil pump, face, reset and adjust the valves, etc. I have rebuilt car engines and it is vastly more complex than an electric motor.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2021, 10:26:53 pm »
Simplicity of maintenance of electric motors was not my experience. Why? I tried to find someone to rebuild my gas furnice draft blower motor and everyone said they do not want to do it because repair cost will be close to price of a new motor. And all that was needed was to loosen a stabborn hex screw on the blower cage wheel and move the wheel couple millimeters on the shaft so the wheel would not rub against the casing. I feel same destiny may expect bigger electric motors including electric vehicles motors. The lazy technicians will be telling you to replace the motor rather than serve or repair.
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Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2021, 10:35:49 pm »
Simplicity of maintenance of electric motors was not my experience. Why? I tried to find someone to rebuild my gas furnice draft blower motor and everyone said they do not want to do it because repair cost will be close to price of a new motor. And all that was needed was to loosen a stabborn hex screw on the blower cage wheel and move the wheel couple millimeters on the shaft so the wheel would not rub against the casing. I feel same destiny may expect bigger electric motors including electric vehicles motors. The lazy technicians will be telling you to replace the motor rather than serve or repair.

You're seriously trying to compare a piddly little draft inducer motor that costs $100 or so to replace with a bus traction motor that costs tens of thousands of dollars to replace? Nobody rebuilds draft inducer motors, they are not meant to be rebuilt and by the time you factor in the cost of parts there is not enough left to cover the cost of maintenance. You'd have trouble finding someone to rebuild the engine in a $100 chainsaw too. The rebuild big diesel engines and they rebuild big electric motors for the same reason, they are cost effective to rebuild and are designed with rebuilding in mind.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2021, 08:40:29 am »
No response from Adam yet  :popcorn:
 

Offline wizard69

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2021, 07:26:35 pm »
Actually I have a different take on this, buses as a for of public transportation are a scam.    It really doesn't matter if they are electric, diesel of pedal powered.    Consider just a few of these observations I've seen across America:
  • Public transportation is vastly underused.    Daily I see buses running around with nobody but the driver on board.   Literally every day.
  • Buses are HUGE obstacles you need to navigate around daily as you drive.   For whatever reason buses seem to be permitted where Semi and big trucks are not - why?
  • In the same way as the above buses are a huge issue for foot traffic.    I once witnessed a guy getting smacked by a car while trying to use a cross walk.   A bus was visually blocking the view of both the pedestrian and the car driver.  Now this is not one strange incident. people regularly have to navigate around buses.
  • Almost all bus systems are subsidized with tax payer money.    This is unacceptable.   Even more of a issue is that many riders as simply taking advantage of the fact that somebody else pays for their personal transportation needs.    There is no room in my heart for people that don't pay their own way when they are fully capable.
  • In many areas buses are transportation systems for drug dealers / criminals.   That is the public transportation systems actually lead to the decline of neighborhoods.
  • In the case of current solutions buses pollute like there is no tomorrow.   Electrics will just transfer that pollution to some other location.   Yes I know all the garbage about renewables ( a sad term), but it will take decades before there is a significant impact on pollution from buses.   Beyond that electrics do not solve the issue of wasted energy due to the buses running empty or nearly so.   The whole concept of a bus system is wasteful of energy.

I could go on but I really think it is time to address public transportation in smarter and frankly more modern ways.   Some possibilities:
  • If there must be buses get them off the roads where automobiles and pedestrians operate.   This especially in the concentrated parts of a city or village.
  • Make use of elevated or tunneled trams, monorails or other devices that clear the highways.
  • Implement horizontal "elevators" for building to building transfers.   I seriously do not understand why we don't see more of this.    It would be fairly easy to make use of existing elevator tech.   If an elevator can move some body 50 stories it should be easy to cover a city block or two.   There are actually people movers in Las Vegas that come close too what I'm imagining here.   The idea though is to have such technology integrated into buildings / communities from the start, just like buildings are designed with elevators from the start.   The local hospital complex is a motivator for this idea as the complex covers a very large area.
  • Make use of powered side walks and other aids to pedestrians.   Again I come back to the city of Las Vegas witch is a very walkable city.   Powered side walks mean quick transportation between buildings and elevated crossings over very busy streets serve the interest of everybody.    Walking is often faster that any motorized solution.
  • Which brings up walking.   Walking or bike riding, should be encouraged in many cases.    That should be a factor in all new designs and reconstructions.   Your life should not be at stake crossing a street.
  • I'd honestly would prefer to see much smaller vans and buses on the street if we need to have them at all.   I'd just feel less angry when they are operating empty.   Some of the above suggestions would lead to this being a possibility if the use of buses for short hops was not needed anymore.

One of the big issues with public transportation is that communities got in their heads that one solution fits all needs.   Thus we have many communities where buses are the only solution and have become the wrong solution.   When you need to move people in bulk, say from an airport or convention center, subways or elevated solutions are a better choice.   In other cases the volume is so low that again buses are stupid.

So obviously I hate buses but it is for good reason.   For some reason communities and the organizations that operate the buses, got this idea that massive buses solve all problems.   In reality they are a terrible solution for most public transportation needs.   I really believe that there are better ways to spend out public transportation dollars.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2021, 10:24:52 pm »
Actually I have a different take on this, buses as a for of public transportation are a scam.    It really doesn't matter if they are electric, diesel of pedal powered.    Consider just a few of these observations I've seen across America:

Your take is from the point of view of a spoiled automobile owner, and you haven't provided any hard data, only opinion.
Transit use is way down, due to covid: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/01/transit-data-economy/

No it doesn't take "decades" to pay back emissions of an electric bus, its a matter of years: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/3/770/pdf the fact that it takes 5 years or less to payback the higher upfront price, should have been a hint.

American cities were designed around the automobile, you can't go back in time and redesign major roadways overnight.
Yes, the best is to design more around walkability/etc and they should do that going forward. But getting rid of buses doesn't help to achieve that, it simply punishes poor people.
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2021, 11:52:19 pm »
A particularly silly statement above:
"5. In many areas buses are transportation systems for drug dealers / criminals.   That is the public transportation systems actually lead to the decline of neighborhoods."
Drive-by shootings and smash-and-grab thefts, now plaguing American cities, are never done from public buses.  The usual vehicle is a "dark-colored SUV" or "dark-colored sedan" in the crime news reports.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2021, 05:38:49 am »
Quote
In many areas buses are transportation systems for drug dealers / criminals. 

I thought that are Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2021, 09:47:52 pm »
Actually I have a different take on this, buses as a for of public transportation are a scam.    It really doesn't matter if they are electric, diesel of pedal powered.    Consider just a few of these observations I've seen across America:

Your take is from the point of view of a spoiled automobile owner, and you haven't provided any hard data, only opinion.
Transit use is way down, due to covid: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/01/transit-data-economy/

No it doesn't take "decades" to pay back emissions of an electric bus, its a matter of years: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/3/770/pdf the fact that it takes 5 years or less to payback the higher upfront price, should have been a hint.

American cities were designed around the automobile, you can't go back in time and redesign major roadways overnight.
Yes, the best is to design more around walkability/etc and they should do that going forward. But getting rid of buses doesn't help to achieve that, it simply punishes poor people.
I agree. Over here bus companies are privately owned and need to make a profit to keep their busses going. They tend to cut routes which aren't profitable.

Side note: The city I live in didn't exist when I was born and it was designed with a seperate car, bus and bycicle infrastructure from the start which is pretty nifty but not a real option for existing cities. In France and Germany you see that they have created extra bycicle and bus lanes by converting existing lanes but it is not an ideal situation especially at intersections where all the different traffic crosses.


A particularly silly statement above:
"5. In many areas buses are transportation systems for drug dealers / criminals.   That is the public transportation systems actually lead to the decline of neighborhoods."
Drive-by shootings and smash-and-grab thefts, now plaguing American cities, are never done from public buses.  The usual vehicle is a "dark-colored SUV" or "dark-colored sedan" in the crime news reports.
Next stop: drive by shooting  :-DD :-DD
« Last Edit: December 21, 2021, 09:50:31 pm by nctnico »
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2021, 05:10:33 am »
34k vs 18k per year, 2x the maintenance cost for diesel
The most important thing: does that include battery changing? I guess it doesn't. So it's unfair comparison.
If you need to change the battery every 10 years, and the new battery costs 370k, then it's 37k/year+18k/year for regular maintenance so we can compare those numbers.
So it's 34k/year for diesel and 55k/year for electric bus.

Diesel busses have large maintanance costs. Someone in the industry said the engine needs complete overhaul at 200,000km or something.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1441 - Electric Buses are NOT a SCAM (Adam Something)
« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2021, 09:16:47 am »
34k vs 18k per year, 2x the maintenance cost for diesel
The most important thing: does that include battery changing? I guess it doesn't. So it's unfair comparison.
If you need to change the battery every 10 years, and the new battery costs 370k, then it's 37k/year+18k/year for regular maintenance so we can compare those numbers.
So it's 34k/year for diesel and 55k/year for electric bus.

Diesel busses have large maintanance costs. Someone in the industry said the engine needs complete overhaul at 200,000km or something.
That sounds ridiculously low. That person probably forgot an extra zero there. A diesel engine in a regular car can do that distance without needing an overhaul and it is far from worn at that point (unless you bought an utterly crappy car or don't maintain it at all). Diesel engines used in trucks last much longer because these are build for long service intervals and typically run at lower RPM causing less wear.

See this PDF from Scania (random Google find) that states the maintenance intervals on their busses: https://www.scania.com/content/dam/scanianoe/market/au/products-and-services/services/ScaniaPreventativeMaintenanceGuides_A3_October2020_FINAL.pdf . There is no mention of an engine overhaul (= taking the engine apart completely); just components bolted onto the enginge that need to be cleaned / replaced with intervals depending on the usage scenario.

And again: needing an overhaul doesn't mean it is expensive. An electric drive train doesn't have an eternal life either. Electric drive trains typically operate at higher RPM and deal with more torque so the bearings get more abuse. In the end you really need to put numbers on these kind of questions/problems to see what is actually more expensive to operate. That requires looking at the big picture as well. When I look at the costs of my car: the money that goes into tyres and suspension dwarfs the cost of engine maintenance. Relatively small ticket items like tyres may not look expensive per piece (don't cause much hurt in the wallet when replaced two at a time) but over the lifetime of a car they do add up to a large amount. I'm pretty sure that will be the same for a bus.

In the end it is better to compare cost based on distance travelled (cost per km) instead of obsessing over seemingly big ticket items.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2021, 01:04:50 pm by nctnico »
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