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Old 08-23-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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Electric skoolie

https://electrek.co/2019/08/23/elect...s-pilots-grow/
“The batteries on this bus go bi-directional!” That’s what kids in White Plains School District, just north of New York City, can boast this back-to-school season. The kids already enjoyed riding five clean, quiet all-electric Lion C-type Electric School Buses last school year, and now those same buses have been fitted with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) tech to allow the bus to serve as backup stationary storage for the grid when parked. As with most things electric, the east coast is following California’s lead, where kids in the Torrance Unified School Districts began breathing easy on V2G electric school buses in 2016.

The achievement needs to be underscored: not only did these school districts swap out dirty diesel buses for clean electric buses, but the V2G tech on these buses further eliminates emissions by shaving peak electric load requirements, doing away with the need for (usually dirty, always expensive) peaker-plant power. It also adds a level of grid resilience that can keep the district lights on in the event of an electricity outage.

Most of us don’t care about school buses, but Kevin Matthews, co-director of the V2G EV School Bus Initiative at National Strategies Alliance Consulting, brings home the reality for anyone concerned with the health of the planet, let alone our children: there are 460,000 school buses in the United States (compared to less than 150,000 transit buses). School buses travel more miles as a fleet than transit buses do. On any given day that school is in session, school buses will transport more passengers than all U.S. domestic airlines. And the passengers on those buses are children with developing lungs, touching every socioeconomic status in every community in America.

Pilot projects are being pushed by utilities, not school districts

White Plains School District wasn’t a participant in the pilot. Instead, the project was seeded when New York’s Public Service Commission ordered the state’s six investor-owned utilities to put forward demonstration projects back in February 2015 as part of a statewide initiative to strengthen the grid following Hurricane Sandy.

Con Edison, the investor-owned utility that serves New York City and the surrounding region, proposed the school bus project in response. Con Edison divided the project into three phases. Phase 1 began summer 2018, with the delivery of five Lion Electric school buses to National Express, a British multinational that provides busing for the White Plains City School District. The buses performed flawlessly, with zero incidents operating over 293 school days, and the drivers who switched from diesel to the Lion buses reporting high satisfaction. During this first phase, Con Edison and National Express focused solely on studying the buses’ electricity consumption and charging patterns.

Phase 2 focused on the design and implementation of the V2G infrastructure. Nuvve Corp of San Diego supplies the V2G infrastructure including onboard inverters for the buses. Phase 2 is wrapping up, with Nuvve and Lion successfully test charging and discharging the buses, providing full V2G functionality. Phase 3 launches with the new school year next month, with full operation of V2G functionality. The buses will offer peak-shaving services to the Con Edison grid.

In California pilot, V2G school buses generated $6,100 in revenue annually

Back in July 2014, the California Energy Commission approved a $1.4 million grant for the deployment of six V2G school buses. These buses were old 1996 model-year diesel Blue Bird buses, EV-converted with 96 kWh batteries and Nuvve 22kW bidirectional chargers. According to a detailed presentation (PDF) by Stephen Crolius of Alliance Consulting, a ‘Type C’ school bus (most common North American type, pictured above) costs $110,000 as a diesel, whereas the electric Type C school bus with V2G infrastructure costs $230,000 upfront. However, this initial investment is recouped, with each bus generating $6,100 in revenues for the school district annually (in addition to savings from time-of-use load shifting and of course lower maintenance). The Torrance pilot officially closed earlier this year.

Duke Power wants to giveaway 85 V2G school buses to North Carolina school districts

Earlier this year, Duke Power filed a proposal with the North Carolina Utilities Commission for its own pilot. Duke wants to give eighty-five $215,000 grants to North Carolina school districts (first come, first served) to buy V2G school buses. The utility would also install and own the bi-directional charger connected to its grid, and the school bus would work as a grid asset when not moving children. Duke estimates that each bus would present $7,200 per year in operational savings to the school district.

V2G school bus pilots multiply, but when will it move from pilot to default procurement choice?

On Monday this week — five years after the Torrance pilot — the California Public Utilities Commission approved another V2G school bus pilot for the region — this time by San Diego Gas & Electric — to buy ten more V2G school buses. We’re not making fast progress at replacing the 450,000 ICE school buses out there.

Marc Trahand of Nuvve is optimistic. Nuvve has already built project expertise in deploying V2G school buses in Europe, where they’re further along than here. Mr. Trahand tells Electrek that “now is time for the US to benefit from this technology commercially, beyond pilots.”

Mr. Matthews is hopeful that V2G school bus adoption will accelerate soon. He told Electrek:

“As more are ordered, OEMs are able to scale up supply chain and production capability and that will lead to lower production costs. Fortunately, the funds from the VW settlement, and those currently available in from State and Regional entities in California, and a couple of other emerging states, should be significant enough to reach a tipping point to start the downward production cost and reduce overall cost to buyers.”

Lion isn’t the only electric school bus game in town. Blue Bird received $4.4m from the US Dept. of Energy to develop low-cost, V2G capable school buses in 2016. We covered their roadshow in April 2018, and now Blue Bird announced on Monday that it has received over 100 orders for its electric school buses — although these will need modification to be V2G capable. Blue Bird is the largest US supplier of school buses and has three different models to choose from.

Electrek’s Take
It’s back to school season, what’s your school district doing about its filthy diesel buses? Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, Director of Transportation Efficiency at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, says a main barrier is that school districts are “constrained by administrative capacity to conduct research, build community support, apply for funding, and adopt alternative fuel technology.”

This sounds like a call to action for Electrek readers. A handful of passionate, driven individuals coming together can effect significant change with their local school board. This is doable. Don’t wait around for your utility to try and seek permission for a handful of buses for yet another pilot. Point your school board officials to the successful pilots and save the kids and the planet while saving your school’s operating budget to boot.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:06 AM   #2
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Muy Cool. Great article.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMORGANSKOOL View Post
https://electrek.co/2019/08/23/elect...s-pilots-grow/
“The batteries on this bus go bi-directional!” That’s what kids in White Plains School District, just north of New York City, can boast this back-to-school season. The kids already enjoyed riding five clean, quiet all-electric Lion C-type Electric School Buses last school year, and now those same buses have been fitted with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) tech to allow the bus to serve as backup stationary storage for the grid when parked. As with most things electric, the east coast is following California’s lead, where kids in the Torrance Unified School Districts began breathing easy on V2G electric school buses in 2016.

The achievement needs to be underscored: not only did these school districts swap out dirty diesel buses for clean electric buses, but the V2G tech on these buses further eliminates emissions by shaving peak electric load requirements, doing away with the need for (usually dirty, always expensive) peaker-plant power. It also adds a level of grid resilience that can keep the district lights on in the event of an electricity outage.

Most of us don’t care about school buses, but Kevin Matthews, co-director of the V2G EV School Bus Initiative at National Strategies Alliance Consulting, brings home the reality for anyone concerned with the health of the planet, let alone our children: there are 460,000 school buses in the United States (compared to less than 150,000 transit buses). School buses travel more miles as a fleet than transit buses do. On any given day that school is in session, school buses will transport more passengers than all U.S. domestic airlines. And the passengers on those buses are children with developing lungs, touching every socioeconomic status in every community in America.

Pilot projects are being pushed by utilities, not school districts

White Plains School District wasn’t a participant in the pilot. Instead, the project was seeded when New York’s Public Service Commission ordered the state’s six investor-owned utilities to put forward demonstration projects back in February 2015 as part of a statewide initiative to strengthen the grid following Hurricane Sandy.

Con Edison, the investor-owned utility that serves New York City and the surrounding region, proposed the school bus project in response. Con Edison divided the project into three phases. Phase 1 began summer 2018, with the delivery of five Lion Electric school buses to National Express, a British multinational that provides busing for the White Plains City School District. The buses performed flawlessly, with zero incidents operating over 293 school days, and the drivers who switched from diesel to the Lion buses reporting high satisfaction. During this first phase, Con Edison and National Express focused solely on studying the buses’ electricity consumption and charging patterns.

Phase 2 focused on the design and implementation of the V2G infrastructure. Nuvve Corp of San Diego supplies the V2G infrastructure including onboard inverters for the buses. Phase 2 is wrapping up, with Nuvve and Lion successfully test charging and discharging the buses, providing full V2G functionality. Phase 3 launches with the new school year next month, with full operation of V2G functionality. The buses will offer peak-shaving services to the Con Edison grid.

In California pilot, V2G school buses generated $6,100 in revenue annually

Back in July 2014, the California Energy Commission approved a $1.4 million grant for the deployment of six V2G school buses. These buses were old 1996 model-year diesel Blue Bird buses, EV-converted with 96 kWh batteries and Nuvve 22kW bidirectional chargers. According to a detailed presentation (PDF) by Stephen Crolius of Alliance Consulting, a ‘Type C’ school bus (most common North American type, pictured above) costs $110,000 as a diesel, whereas the electric Type C school bus with V2G infrastructure costs $230,000 upfront. However, this initial investment is recouped, with each bus generating $6,100 in revenues for the school district annually (in addition to savings from time-of-use load shifting and of course lower maintenance). The Torrance pilot officially closed earlier this year.

Duke Power wants to giveaway 85 V2G school buses to North Carolina school districts

Earlier this year, Duke Power filed a proposal with the North Carolina Utilities Commission for its own pilot. Duke wants to give eighty-five $215,000 grants to North Carolina school districts (first come, first served) to buy V2G school buses. The utility would also install and own the bi-directional charger connected to its grid, and the school bus would work as a grid asset when not moving children. Duke estimates that each bus would present $7,200 per year in operational savings to the school district.

V2G school bus pilots multiply, but when will it move from pilot to default procurement choice?

On Monday this week — five years after the Torrance pilot — the California Public Utilities Commission approved another V2G school bus pilot for the region — this time by San Diego Gas & Electric — to buy ten more V2G school buses. We’re not making fast progress at replacing the 450,000 ICE school buses out there.

Marc Trahand of Nuvve is optimistic. Nuvve has already built project expertise in deploying V2G school buses in Europe, where they’re further along than here. Mr. Trahand tells Electrek that “now is time for the US to benefit from this technology commercially, beyond pilots.”

Mr. Matthews is hopeful that V2G school bus adoption will accelerate soon. He told Electrek:

“As more are ordered, OEMs are able to scale up supply chain and production capability and that will lead to lower production costs. Fortunately, the funds from the VW settlement, and those currently available in from State and Regional entities in California, and a couple of other emerging states, should be significant enough to reach a tipping point to start the downward production cost and reduce overall cost to buyers.”

Lion isn’t the only electric school bus game in town. Blue Bird received $4.4m from the US Dept. of Energy to develop low-cost, V2G capable school buses in 2016. We covered their roadshow in April 2018, and now Blue Bird announced on Monday that it has received over 100 orders for its electric school buses — although these will need modification to be V2G capable. Blue Bird is the largest US supplier of school buses and has three different models to choose from.

Electrek’s Take
It’s back to school season, what’s your school district doing about its filthy diesel buses? Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, Director of Transportation Efficiency at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, says a main barrier is that school districts are “constrained by administrative capacity to conduct research, build community support, apply for funding, and adopt alternative fuel technology.”

This sounds like a call to action for Electrek readers. A handful of passionate, driven individuals coming together can effect significant change with their local school board. This is doable. Don’t wait around for your utility to try and seek permission for a handful of buses for yet another pilot. Point your school board officials to the successful pilots and save the kids and the planet while saving your school’s operating budget to boot.


.................................
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:18 AM   #4
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Am I reading it right?

The electric costs $120k more but makes up for it by generating $6100 in annual revenue.

That looks like a 20+year ROI. I seriously doubt those buses will stay in service for 20 years.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:33 PM   #5
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I wonder how disposal of spent units is being factored in? Also, I don't see any discussion of the fuel used to produce the electricity to keep these buses charged up. Nor is there a discussion of years of service and ongoing maintenance costs. Inquiring minds want to know--both the good and the bad.
Jack
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
I wonder how disposal of spent units is being factored in? Also, I don't see any discussion of the fuel used to produce the electricity to keep these buses charged up. Nor is there a discussion of years of service and ongoing maintenance costs. Inquiring minds want to know--both the good and the bad.
Jack
my question is why is a bus driven by electric motors cost twice as much as a diesel or gas motor? - seems to me they should be cheaper, not twice the price -
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:54 PM   #7
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How do they heat them in cold weather?
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:59 PM   #8
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May well be battery cost, plus being limited production add up.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:00 PM   #9
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save the kids and the planet
Ha Ha yeah, right...
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Am I reading it right?

The electric costs $120k more but makes up for it by generating $6100 in annual revenue.

That looks like a 20+year ROI. I seriously doubt those buses will stay in service for 20 years.
You with your math and thinking and what not. It's not like it's your money. It's the taxpayers.

You keep this crap up and the sun's gonna set on any public-sector aspirations you may have
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