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Old 10-15-2018, 01:52 PM   #1
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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.

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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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Old 02-09-2021, 04:42 AM   #5
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#Hybrid diesel-electric generator/PTO at 20K watts
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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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Old 02-09-2021, 07:14 AM   #6
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Tesla has a large charging network so if there was a way to charge at their stations then it would become possibly viable. Right now there are to few other chargers, and I am mot sure if they are even superchargers. In time I do see this changing. Tesla has made it real, now time for others to play catch up.
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Old 02-09-2021, 01:44 PM   #7
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There is/was a company that converted transit buses to electric, jay leno garage youtube channel reviewed one if I recall, there were two companies.
Note that a bus has air résistance 4x worse than a car, meaning at 60mph it consumes 4x more energy. for a local low-speed route, that isn't an issue, for a motorhome it is.
Consider what it costs IN DIESEL to drive 3,000 miles at 6mpg, and how often and long it would take to recharge a battery 4x bigger than a tesla.

A skoolie equivalent of a tesla, would be a 15 year old worn out EV with nimh batteries, like the 2000 Ford Ranger that had 40 mile range..

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Old 02-09-2021, 04:38 PM   #8
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For what little it may be worth....
My local school district acquired a Lion electric bus a couple years ago. It is a straight plug-in battery electric. After using it for a few months (when I last chatted with them a year or more ago), they were highly pleased with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Electric_Company
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Old 02-09-2021, 05:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
There is/was a company that converted transit buses to electric, jay leno garage youtube channel reviewed one if I recall, there were two companies.
Note that a bus has air résistance 4x worse than a car, meaning at 60mph it consumes 4x more energy. for a local low-speed route, that isn't an issue, for a motorhome it is.
Consider what it costs IN DIESEL to drive 3,000 miles at 6mpg, and how often and long it would take to recharge a battery 4x bigger than a tesla.

A skoolie equivalent of a tesla, would be a 15 year old worn out EV with nimh batteries, like the 2000 Ford Ranger that had 40 mile range..

I'm willing to bet the factor is greater than 4. 4X was just the air resistance, there's also the sheer weight and that multiplies on uphill grades as well. I'm guessing there would have to be a charger at the bottom of every Rocky mountain just to get enough power to climb the next one.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:40 PM   #10
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https://zepsdrive.com/


403 KWH battery... 100 mile range.. No transmission, switches between Y and Delta around 30 Mph..


Every self respecting truck company is working on electric trucks. Going to be an interesting times in the next 10 years.


Johan
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:23 AM   #11
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https://zepsdrive.com/


403 KWH battery... 100 mile range.. No transmission, switches between Y and Delta around 30 Mph..


Every self respecting truck company is working on electric trucks. Going to be an interesting times in the next 10 years.


Johan
Agree, it'll be interesting. I'm not a visionary (which explains why I drive a truck lol) but I can see LTL carriers being the first class 8 electric truck pioneers because they go from A to B, plug in, and B back to A tomorrow. Predictable route, dedicated charger at each end, and usually not that heavy. What's LTL? Think of all the names you see on doubles and triples - FedEx, UPS, Old Dominion, Saia, YRC - those trucks go a few hundred miles from terminal to terminal then swap trailers and go back so they're home every night or every other night. The mixed freight is usually pretty lightweight. They can beta test the technology for manufacturers in real world conditions that will help extend the performance and range.

Truckload carriers and brokering and such are a different animal so will be slower to embrace the range restrictions of electric trucks but they could see the benefits of a hybrid diesel-electric configuration. We're barely grazing 10mpg in heavy diesel engine technology under real world conditions but even if you could double that the fuel cost savings alone would make any carrier take stock. Smaller diesel plant generates electricity, direct drive motors eliminate transmissions, lighter truck, less fuel, more freight capacity, wins all around. And not being tethered to where you have to go to park and charge makes it adaptable to the unpredictable routes of a TL network.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:43 AM   #12
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While the talk of converting the country from fossil fuels to total electric for transportation is the hot topic of the day, hopefully the nation's actual switch from internal combustion power to electric power comes after I'm dead and gone.

I have too many IC powered toys to convert, and can't imagine not being able to conveniently buy fuel for them. Nor do I have the time, money, or technical expertise to engineer new battery powered drivetrains for them.
Selfish, I know, but old habits die hard...
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:01 AM   #13
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If we can't get crude oil any more how are we going to drive our IC powered vehicles?
If we can't get crude oil any more how are we going to make the plastic and rubber for our battery powered vehicles?
If we can't frack and drill for gas and oil and dig for coal how are we going to generate power to charge our batteries?
If we go to solar power how are we to charge our batteries at night?
We are putting the cart before the horse.
Alcohol is for drinking, gasoline is for cars and motorcycles, diesel is for trucks and buses and batteries are for sex toys.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:11 PM   #14
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Something a relative mentioned to me yesterday had me looking at how much oil there really is. At our present rate of use and with our present know reserves we have about 70 years of oil for the planet. Now I am sure this will change as more reserves are found. I feel we need to be moving away from oil as a fuel. Oil has other uses that are important as well.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:15 PM   #15
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1) If we can't get crude oil any more how are we going to drive our IC powered vehicles?
2) If we can't get crude oil any more how are we going to make the plastic and rubber for our battery powered vehicles?
3)If we can't frack and drill for gas and oil and dig for coal how are we going to generate power to charge our batteries?
4)If we go to solar power how are we to charge our batteries at night?
We are putting the cart before the horse.
5)Alcohol is for drinking, gasoline is for cars and motorcycles, diesel is for trucks and buses and batteries are for sex toys.
Answers:
1) hydrogen. They can all be converted to hydrogen powered IC engines with little overhead: replace the fuel injectors with the correct size nozzle, the fuel lines with stainless steel, and the fuel tanks with 20,00 psi carbon-fiber tanks.
Or you can replace the spark plugs with ones that act as hydrogen injectors / spark generators. With that setup, you can have a multi-fuel vehicle that can run off pure hydrogen or gasoline or gasoline-hydrogen, or with another type of fuel-injector added (or replace the original gasoline ones) diesel-hydrogen, veggie-oil-hydrogen, cheap-wine-hydrogen, and the list goes on and on and on. All in your IC (spark-fired) engine.

That is the thing about the hydrogen economy. We don't have to throw everything away and start over. Just make some simple changes. That is why hydrogen is not readily available. (see below)

2) bio-oils. The tech is progressing rapidly, although you may have to pay 10% more at first. However, the boomers have covered the entire planet with their plastic garbage (from the tops of the highest mountains down to the deepest trenches in the ocean), as they embraced the "disposable lifestyle" (why I call them the disposable generation) that changed the market for their "convenience" (why should I wash a rag when I can get someone to destroy the last of our old-growth forests to provide me with a disposable paper towel?), a problem their grandkids, and their grandkids, and their grandkids, will still be cleaning up. I'd be happy to see plastics that are too expensive for single-use. And paper towels made from virgin trees should be outlawed; hemp fiber ones instead.



3) really? you ask this question in 2021? are you a boomer? hopefully you are just a bit sarcastic/sardonic/snarky.


4) with giant halogen spotlights shining on the panels. Oh wait, the light pollution.....


5) alcohol is poison to the human body. it is better to burn it with hydrogen.

gasoline and diesel are for controlling the world. That is why hydrogen is not readily available.


battery powered sex toys can't compare to my flesh. practice, my friend, practice.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:24 PM   #16
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We are putting the cart before the horse.
We are putting ourselves before our children.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:32 PM   #17
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Is any of this going to be soon? I hear we only have 9 years left.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:35 PM   #18
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Is any of this going to be soon?
We could have done this 50 years ago. Ask your politician why. Oh, yea, control of the world through petrol.



Quote:
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I hear we only have 9 years left.
Then what are you worried about?
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:20 PM   #19
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I'm not worried about it. It is just more crony capitalism. Solar powered mental masturbation.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:40 PM   #20
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I'm still waiting on my $100.

Anyone else remember the guy that said he'd have a tesla powered bus in a year or less or he'd personally pay anyone who suggested otherwise $100?

Its been quite a while. Think dude owes several of us a hundo.
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