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Old 09-08-2019, 11:45 AM   #21
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 414
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Cummins ISC 260HP/660Q/MD3060 6spd
Rated Cap: 81
You could do a cheap conversion if youíre resourceful within budget and you take your time to source anything you buy, maybe a lot of used materials and no roof raise. With the electric conversion youíd probably have to at least double the budget, I think a new battery for a Toyota Prius is about $5000 and thatís just a small car. I wonder what the electric motor to power a bus would cost...

My 40 ft bus with roof raise initial budget was $15,000 (I just picked a number). Bus was $3500 but ended up having to get another $4000 or so in repairs. All in now Iím close to $30,000 now but I donít want to add all my receipts to find out for sure. Itís about 70% complete.

Would be really cool if you can do it. Youíll also need a bus with a place to hold the batteries. Hopefully you can find a way to do it all.

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Old 09-08-2019, 03:24 PM   #22
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Fresnope, CA
Posts: 154
I came right out of the chute saying this wouldn't be feasible on the stated budget, and I can give a little more info as to why not. It's been quite a few years since I looked into the cost of electric car batteries, so I had a fresh look.
A 24 kilowatt hour battery for a Nissan Leaf is $5500, and it's a small car with a limited range. The battery pack for the Chevy Volt, with its 238 mile range, costs over $15k, and you'd need at least 4 of them.

Batteries should fit under the floor, the whole floor, and that eliminates space for holding tanks.

That's over $60k in batteries alone, for a set of batteries that have a shelf-life. It's not like you'll be able to story mega-power to run a tiny house for decades. It's about $6000 to $7500 a year for 8 to 10 years, whether you use it or not.
You won't be able to fit enough solar on top of a bus to charge the batteries in a single day, or even 2 days, and that's several thousands more. There ARE commercially available electric buses, and they typically have their own charging station for each one.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Phillip K. Dick
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:55 PM   #23
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 46
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Caterpillar 3126
Rated Cap: 16
Thanks Maddmaxx! It's really nice to get a little hope!! I'm not sure if it will be possible, but that's why my nephew and brother are converting a car first to see how much it's actually going to and time wise. My nephew is already saving up (as am I). We know this is going to be an adventure, whether we end up converting it to electric or not. It's all about the journey! We have 3 years to make this happen, so we have the time to find the materials we'll need at a discount and to make what we can't afford to buy. I'm sorry Shawna, but we are very excited to do this from the ground up, so we aren't interested in your bus. Best of luck!
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bathroom, short bus, short bus conversion

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