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Old 04-25-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
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Hybrid Skoolie

Hi all, I just purchased a 2012 Chevy C4500 Duramax Shuttle Bus. It was from the Madison IL County Transit Authority (MTA). It has a hybrid option with two HUGE batteries strapped underneath. I have been trying to reach MTA to talk about them but cannot reach them. Is anyone familiar with this sort of setup? The hybrid is not currently operating but I'm curious if I can use those big batteries for solar storage. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:29 PM   #2
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How is the hybrid not currently operating? Does that mean it only runs on internal combustion engine? When you wonder why an agency would unload a bus well before it's expected end of life then find out it was sold an unproven technology that's more expensive to maintain and repair than the bus is worth, then you'll have your answer why they're ghosting you!

I'm not trying to bag on ya, I'm actually quite inquisitive about the hybrid technology potential but I think some municipal agencies get bamboozled into early adoption without the full information about realistic performance and longevity. Priuses only last about 10 years before their batteries need replacing but they cost more than the value of the car. I haven't seen similar stats yet for Tesla but people report battery performance decline as early as 4 years and they don't have an ICE to fall back on - without batteries it's a brick on wheels.

There was another thread about someone interested in a hybrid bus which might be worth a look but I'm not sure it will encourage your perspective on this purchase. Best bet may be to bypass the MTA and try to contact someone at the manufacturer but could also be a long shot as the second owner and a civilian with a commercial model. That's a battle every skoolie owner fights all the time though!
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:48 PM   #3
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GigiRolls

To clarify, I didn't purchase from the MTA. They rotate all their shuttles out of the program at 175K. They are sold to a guy owning a used transport vehicle dealership. The MTA is notorious for excellent maintenance of their fleets. Undercarriage wash every night during winter, monthly detailing, all maintenance recorded, etc. I didn't purchase for its hybrid system. I'm just trying to find out if I can use those batteries. The mechanic who did my pre-purchase inspection suggested I try to sell them to a battery refurbisher. If I can use them for my solar, I would like to. I'm just trying to see if anyone has experience with hybrid shuttle buses. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:55 AM   #4
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Just decompose the batteries

they'll need a different xPyS layout anyway

you need to see what cells were used, best to cap test each as individuals

BMS likely not useful

Probably better used for EV DIY or ebike packs, those chemistries are pretty risky to keep near a human living space.
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:06 PM   #5
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Sorry, but you bought a white elephant. MTA will likely not bother with you about it because it isn't their problem anymore. Some of these will go into lockdown or limp-home mode if the system even thinks it has been tampered with or compromised, even if there is no issue. Hybrids are specialized and require special training and certification to diagnose and service correctly.

Hate to say it, but you're locked into a dealer for any information or problems specific to the hybrid system, and that includes the batteries, unless you have a way of contacting the manufacturer of the batteries (still a gamble). Some hybrids won't function correctly even with no fault codes, other will show fault codes with no operational issues. PITA systems, not worth the headache. Just say no.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:18 PM   #6
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OP was not (foolishly I agree) considering making use of the electric propulsion aspect of the bus.

But in salvaging value out of the cells contained in those big packs.

They may well be in great shape, and if so worth at least $100-200 per kWh to DIYers

if their capacity and SoH can be objectively verified
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
OP was not (foolishly I agree) considering making use of the electric propulsion aspect of the bus.
I'm not trying to be rude, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Some of these will go into lockdown or limp-home mode if the system even thinks it has been tampered with or compromised, even if there is no issue.

And yes, that could include removing the batteries. The last thing OP needs is to remove the batteries and solve them, only to find that the vehicle no longer functions at all.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:52 PM   #8
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Sorry, I don't get your point, and can't see how anyone would think that response rude.

I was just clarifying my perception of the OP's intent.

If you are claiming that it may not be possible to do anything but scrap out the whole shebang for parts

yes that is a possibility.

Jyst letting the electric propulsion side sit without being used may very well lead to the same result eventually.
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