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 Hybrid-Electric--Way of the future?
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Schoolbusdude
Active Member

10 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2013 :  2:23:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Schoolbusdude's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In this day and age, urban mass-transit systems are adopting the hybrid-electric transmission as a way to reduce fuel consumption. Within a decade, the "conventional" diesel bus and automatic transmission will be a thing of the past at these agencies.

Given the fuel savings and reduced emissions, will the hybrid-electric transmission see such widespread adoption among school bus operators? I know some agencies won't agree ("added mechanical complexity is not worth the fuel savings") but I just want to see the general picture.

RichBusman
Advanced Member

451 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  8:07:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At this point there is no worthy technology on the market that works well for the school bus business. Compared to urban transit, the overwhelming majority of school buses do not do long almost non-stop daily service, are not primarily stop and go (where hybrids pay off with regenerative braking), and are not built to last 500,000+ miles. In addition, a school bus is less than 1/5 the cost of a typical transit bus.

There were a number of hybrid options available through this year, all of which are now off the market due to their big upfront cost (over $40,000 versus a traditional diesel), and marginal improvement in fuel economy. In addition, batteries would be replaced before the bus is retired, at a cost of at least $15-20,000, negating any savings.

Until the technology improves drastically, and the price drops, there is no business case to make for a hybrid school bus. Can't rely on government kickbacks for everything "green", considering how much we overspend.

Edited by - RichBusman on 08/12/2013 8:14:07 PM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2322 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2013 :  11:39:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RichBusman

At this point there is no worthy technology on the market that works well for the school bus business. Compared to urban transit, the overwhelming majority of school buses do not do long almost non-stop daily service, are not primarily stop and go (where hybrids pay off with regenerative braking), and are not built to last 500,000+ miles. In addition, a school bus is less than 1/5 the cost of a typical transit bus.

There were a number of hybrid options available through this year, all of which are now off the market due to their big upfront cost (over $40,000 versus a traditional diesel), and marginal improvement in fuel economy. In addition, batteries would be replaced before the bus is retired, at a cost of at least $15-20,000, negating any savings.

Until the technology improves drastically, and the price drops, there is no business case to make for a hybrid school bus. Can't rely on government kickbacks for everything "green", considering how much we overspend.



I agree!! In my estimation, of all the alternatives out there propane is the way to go.

As a side note, my 15 year old and I were talking. Why don't these companies get together and develop a battery that is exchangeable? You drive your car till the battery is near empty and stop a a "gas" station and swap batteries! Much like a cordless drill. Remember when the cordless drill didn't have a removable battery? What a pain. (If you don't remember that, you might be too young. lol )

Bryan
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Carp_26
Administrator

United States
161 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  06:58:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I believe I read somewhere that in February 2013 International was awarded another large grant to work on it's second generation of Hybrid buses. I don't think we've seen the end of this market, but as Rich says, the cost must come down and technologies improved to see a savings for the investment.

I'll look for article and post a link.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2322 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2013 :  07:43:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Carp_26

I believe I read somewhere that in February 2013 International was awarded another large grant to work on it's second generation of Hybrid buses. I don't think we've seen the end of this market, but as Rich says, the cost must come down and technologies improved to see a savings for the investment.

I'll look for article and post a link.



Not to nit pick, but "market"? Please, the only reason Navistar is even thinking of such a thing is because there is grant money. If this were viable, a large company like Nav. would be jumping all over it. This is not a "market" it is government subsidized cronieism! Just like Chicago and Illinois have been, so is the nation now that there is a man running the place that's from Chicago.

Bryan
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tiny tim
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2013 :  7:47:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit tiny tim's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nyc Mta is repowering over 800 hybrids (around 7 years old) due to the hybrids do not preform as well as diesel buses in the outer areas. Plus the costs of battery replacments traction motors etc. In the last three years they have not bought a hybrid and have no plans to buy any at this time.
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