Re: Economics of electric buses
  Tony Galloway

Ah, George St, our boulevarde of unimpeachable urban excellence. How could we possibly blight it with wires, except on the southern end which has them.

Compared to the Moses Obeid smart poles with their useless street lights that don’t shine downwards overhead wire would be the least of its problems.

Zaragoza was the first place to use this CAF surface recharge setup, I assumed Newcastle didn’t get it because there were problems with it.

Be interesting to see if Canberra gets the “rabbit ears” or the hot 3rd rail for recharge, I presume Parramatta will get the same “aesthetic” solution that Newcastle endures.

And now, induction charging - what a load off crap. You’re right about the losses, contactless charging is inefficient even for small items like phones.

But hey, who needs engineers when you have stylists, influencers and shills to call the shots.


> On 18 Sep 2022, at 13:08, Matthew Geier matthew@...> wrote:


> You are missing the significant issue of 'fear of overhead wires'.


> Sydney's George Street line probably would have never gotten built if

> 'simple overhead' was the only option.


> This 'FOW' is dragging down many sensible projects and compromising the

> engineering of those that get to go ahead.


> But then the modern low floor tram car is one big engineering compromise.



> I'm currently in Luxembourg who have a 'shiny new' tram line. (With an

> extension that's only been open 7 days!).


> About 3-4 km and 5 stops are wire free. The CAF trams run on ultra

> capacitors in that section. They have batteries too, but watching the

> drivers console, the don't normally touch the batteries. But it appears

> they didn't want the 'visual intrusion' of the 'rabbit ears' charging

> bars, so each city station has a 3rd rail in the middle of the stop.


> Due to the safety system and the need for a secure comms to turn the

> centre rail one and off, they have a system that locks them into CAF for

> further cars.


> And due to 'urban planning' considerations the line does a couple of

> sharp turns around the city centre which the 7 section Urbos 100 have to

> crawl through at low speed, but with flange squeal. Planners vs sensible

> engineering again.



> CAF have added a lot of automation - the drivers don't control the power

> at all. The control system lets the capacitors self discharge under the

> wire. The state indicator drops slowly when under the wire. But when

> approaching the wire-free section, at the stop before transition, the

> system starts charging the capacitor banks again. At the by the

> transition stop the capacitors are charged and the pantograph

> automatically drops. The driver just waits for the 'hold' lamp to go out

> on the console before proceeding. Each city centre stop's dwell time is

> governed by the charging time of the capacitors and not passenger flow.


> It also appears the pickup shoes don't retract like Alstom's APS, the

> 3rd rail at the stops appears to be slightly raised, and on the

> extensive grassed sections there is a furrow in the grass from the

> passage of the shoes.


> The regen brake is aggressive - there is a constant grade between two of

> the stops. The car arrives at the next stop with the same charge state

> as it left the prior one, with the percent capacity indicator going up

> not down as the driver 'regen brakes' down the grade.


> I assume due to climate, they don't have huge power hungry

> air-conditioning systems to run.


> I do wonder how much 'loss' of kwhrs occurs by the 'leakage' from the

> capacitor system.


> No one seems to care about the loss of power efficiency all these wire

> free systems cause. FOW.



> As for battery electric buses - yes the batteries will need replacing

> after about 5 years. But how long does a diesel route bus run before the

> engine is pulled out, stripped down and rebuilt ?


> Rebuilding of diesel engines is well understood and often something done

> in house, but it must be a significant cost.


> As battery electric vehicles become more mainstream, not only are

> battery prices dropping, a recycling ecosystem will appear over time.

> The batteries will be broken down and the valuable materials recycled.


> People will ignore the whole micro-plastic from tyres thing as that

> would make them environmental vandals for even driving their 'clean'

> electric car. Can't have that can we :--)


> Our next stop is a city with a TVR system. They were to replace the TVRs

> with 'proper' trams, but that project has apparently succumbed to a

> 'financial crisis' (and change of city government) and they are looking

> at just acquiring 'standard' trolley buses to replace the increasingly

> problematic TVR vehicles. They already have the wires up, so a

> 'standard' trolley bus could be a sensible option.


> However I wouldn't mind betting there will be a significant push to get

> rid of the 'unsightly wires' now that 'technology doesn't require them'.


> Saw another 'tech news' article recently about these amazing 'contact

> free' charging pads you will be able to just park your EV over and have

> your batteries recharge. No mention of how terrible the coupling

> efficiency of these inductive systems is. Especially on road vehicles

> where you need quite large distance between the transmitter coil and the

> receiver.










> --

> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "TramsDownUnder" group.

> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email totramsdownunder+unsubscribe@....

> To view this discussion on the web visit