With the help of a CALSTART grant directed to Washington state by US Senator Patty Murray, Ben Franklin Transit is working with Southern California-based Complete Coach Works (CCW) to develop an all-electric remanufactured transit bus that has the capability of going more than 100 miles.
The Zero Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS) bus will be powered by a 213 kWh Li-ion phosphate battery pack mated with a 90 kW (180 kW peak) motor that develops 650 N·m (479 lb-ft) of torque continuous, 2,300 N·m peak (1,696 lb-ft). Charging takes 4-6 hours, with 3 Phase 480 V and 100A input.
At Ben Franklin Transit we are very happy to be a part of this project. We have been involved in another alternative energy demonstration and we have never been shy about experimenting with applications that make sense for the industry. However, this demonstration project may prove to be the future of electric public transportation for the next generations. We have long thought that the “holy grail” of transportation is a non-polluting, heavy duty, long range battery and electric motor combination. At BFT our Board of Directors and staff are 100% committed to this project and are excited to be a part of our industry’s future.—Tim Fredrickson, General Manager of Ben Franklin Transit
Macy Neshati, VP of Sales and Marketing at CCW thinks that the topic of zero emission technology in general will only be successful if it is made viable and competitive.
Our research started with a defined goal to develop a remanufactured all-electric transit bus, one which agencies can afford and operate without limitations of adjusting their routes, or installing expensive charging stations. Our Zero Emission Propulsion System, dubbed “ZEPS” for short, is the world’s first and only remanufactured all-electric transit bus.—Macy Neshati,
Ben Franklin Transit’s bus, when completed, will have all electrical components, auxiliary wiring, seats, air conditioning systems and flooring replaced with new parts. The all-electric drive system, motor, controller and Li-ion battery packs will be installed, as will a new, energy efficient air conditioning system.
Ben Franklin Transit, in collaboration with CCW, evaluated the bus route that will benefit the most from the deployment of the electric transit bus. Ben Franklin Transit Route 23/26 is currently a good fit for this all-electric transit bus. Because of frequent stops within a total 8-mile loop and low average speed, the route provides suitable conditions for the regenerative braking-enabled ZEPS bus.