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Old 10-15-2018, 01:52 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Converting bus to electric (EV)

I have always been fascinated with electric vehicles and think this is part of the future, I was reading online how there are many conversions for cars, they change the engine but use the transmissions and everything else. Anyone have any feedback and thoughts about converting a school bus over to electric?

Article I read
https://auto.howstuffworks.com/electric-car7.htm
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:22 PM   #2
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thoughts on electric

A battery pack for the tesla S is reported to be about 1500 lbs. so if a short bus weighs three times a model S then using three battery packs,, two 250hp drive motor assemblies one for rear end and one for front axle that adds up to weigh about 3,000 lbs more than the diesel drive train including fuel. I have been thinking about going electric on my bus, Which I may do after the diesel is worn out. figure about 20 years.

At some point I kind of expect tesla to sell kits to retrofit to older cars and trucks.

william
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:22 PM   #3
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I don't think it's outside of the realm of possibility, but I don't think the tech is quite where it needs to be yet. I'm an electrical engineering technology student at Purdue, and we do a lot of research and work with EVs. In fact, many of my classes are based around them in some way, since it's such a huge thing in our field right now.

So far, there isn't much in the way of retrofit kits, probably because of high cost and low demand. It also doesn't make much sense to simply replace a gas / diesel engine with an electric one and use the rest of the drive train. Electric motors don't really need a transmission, and it's much better to have them power a single wheel or axle directly.

Now, a bus is a pretty good platform for a conversion I would say. Lots of room for batteries and other components, lots of weight capacity, etc.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:15 PM   #4
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electric school busses are just now hitting the streets commercially.. I know thomas IC and Bluebird all have them in the works.. I believe at least one of those manufacturers has them released. so the technology has advanced enough to make it commercially viable, I think when I rode the electric Bluebird Last year that it was 150 miles range? the big issue of course is recharging.. from what I understand the chargers require 480 volt 3 phase to be able to charge the bus packs in hours vs days .. if you were planning an EV skoolie that moved short distances and then camped a long time. you could conceivably charge it with solar but it would take a lot of panels and a long time. I never heard on that bluebird what the miles per kwh is on that bus.. thats ultimately how you determine "range" and amount of power required to charge an EV.. if you use up 100 kwh. driving then you have to replace that into the batteries (overcoming losses in your charging infrastrucure).. so if you handed 1000 watts to the batteries.. its 100 hours to recharge... the only way I really see an advantage of doing it in a skoolie is if you have a source of free power to recharge it and dont plan to drive cross country..

-Christopher
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