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Finnair plans commercial use of NExBTL renewable jet fuel beginning in spring 2011

Seoul starts commercial operation of battery electric buses; planning for 120K electric vehicles by 2020

One of the electric buses. Click to enlarge.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has started commercial operation of full-size battery electric buses on the Mt. Namsan circular routes as of 21 December. SMG has worked on the project to develop full-sized electric buses with local technology over the last one and a half years since signing an agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hankuk Fiber for the development of electric buses in September 2009.

SMG has set a goal of putting a total of 120,000 electric vehicles in use in the city by 2020, which will account for 50% of all public transport vehicles, 10% of sedans and 1% of trucks and vans.

The electric coaches now serving on the Mt. Namsan circular routes are 11.05 meters long and run up to 83 km (52 miles) with a single charge. They can be fully charged in less than 30 minutes with a high-speed battery charger. The electric bus, with a maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), has a low floor and a 240 kW motor. It features a high-capacity lithium-ion battery and a regenerative braking system.

Its body is made of a carbon composite material which considerably reduces the vehicle’s weight while reinforcing durability. The electric buses are also equipped with automatic slant boards for wheelchair users.

SMG has replaced five buses on the Namsan circular routes with electric vehicles. It plans to gradually substitute all 14 buses with electric coaches to minimize any inconvenience of citizens that may be caused by the introduction of the new buses. It also plans to build two more battery chargers on Namsan by March 2011, increasing the number from two to four.


Henry Gibson

As there are a few nuclear power plants in Korea, these are partially powered by nuclear power. I would like to see these buses have ZEBRA batteries in them, but one must use the home industries. They should also have had some fuel powered range extender like the capstone turbines mentioned in the next article. ..HG..


I don't know what these cost, but as the technology improves and prices for such previously unaffordable materials as carbon composite become economical and battery prices and weight drop, other cities will follow suit.

Such vehicles are obviously more affordable than a few years ago.

They can be fully charged in less than 30 minutes with a high-speed battery charger. Who needs H2 or a range extender?


An excellent solution that will get to be better very shortly as batteries performance improves.

A hand to Seoul and Hyundai.

A small low cost emergency e-range extender on a $800K e-city bus would not be a luxury nor much of an extra cost. A small 10 Kwh FC or equivalent ICE genset could keep the electric ancillaries working during extended traffic jams and help this e-bus crawl to the next high speed charging station.

It may be an option?


Can't wait until they rip out all the overhead power lines for the trams in so many beautiful European cities. A fast charging stop every 20 miles or so would be much easier on the eye.


Circulators are a neglected form of transit. Most US transit fleets consist entirely of 40' high capacity buses designed for (crush load) rush hour commuters. Circulators run short routes where demand is consistent throughout the day, but not rush hour level; a situation which requires high frequency. The short route circulator requires the least number of buses/trams to meet the demand for high frequency. They need not be high capacity nor built to reach highway speeds. The shorter, lighter 35' model bus is more navigable in tight urban settings.


Buses are perfect EVs because they follow regular routes and could easily swap batteries. They'll likely end up selling these to US cities as they perfect them.


This realy requires the ability to gather up huge numbers of people in very dense patterns. Something you realy only see in countries with 1 megacity and a rich country at that.

The us has no megacities.


We have seen CNG diesel buses, we may see CNG diesel hybrid buses and maybe more CNG turbine range extended buses in the U.S. It depends on the budgets of the transit authorities, their replacement schedule and the trade off benefit priorities.

If a high priority is reducing pollution in the cities, they will go one way. If the priority is reducing fuel consumption and energy expenditures, they may go another. Each district knows what they need and the priorities that they have. We will see a mix accordingly.


'This realy requires the ability to gather up huge numbers of people in very dense patterns. Something you realy only see in countries with 1 megacity and a rich country at that.'

I've got no idea where you get that idea from, but it is quite erroneous.
There are umpteen cities in Europe where they will work fine for a start.
I don't think places like Norway or Belgium have any megacities.
I am not so sure about the US.


Los Angeles has a dense population and they have light rail, but that is many times a substitute for buses. The rail goes where it goes and the buses go to other places. The idea is to have both to get more people where they want to go.

It is interesting to watch the mass transit budget measures in California over the decades. Most people do not vote for mass transit until the traffic gets so bad they finally do. By that time it is too late and putting in the light rail causes even more congestion and when it is finished light rail and car collisions begin.


Davemart a megacity is like tokyo or seoul or mexico city or such.. a single city that alot of that countries efforts goes into. La isnt dense nothing lile a true megacity. Look up pop density of cities around the world.. its just gobsmacking how dense some places realy are compared to what americans think is dense.

If a 2 mile long line can only catch 100 people it wont work.. if it can catch 10000.... 50000.. oh boy.

Account Deleted

Just kidding!! Please stop the political show. It takes 10 years to put 3k CNG buses all over the country.


I am aware of what a megacity is.
You argue that mass transit does not work except, for some strange reason, in countries which have a megacity.
I can't conceive why you should think that to be the case, as buses etc operate locally, not so much nationally.
In any case it is entirely misconceived, as mass transport operates fine in many countries without a megacity, providing the local population density is high enough.
It is true that they often need subsidy, but that is because private cars are not fully charged for the road space they use.
Most European cities would be permanently gridlocked if everyone used their car instead of a bus or tube.


Returning to the bus, I agree with Harvey that some kind of range extender would be a good idea.
I would suggest a CNG fueled ICE gen-set (They have CNG in gas stations in Korea).
You could also make it large enough to drive the bus at up to (say) 100kph, so you could use the bus in longer runs.
You have a less "pure" EV solution, but you have a much more versatile bus (PHEV) (which you might have a chance of recouping the development costs on).


Buses run on routes which are highly predictable, and so can be specified accordingly.
As long as it's route is within the capacity of the battery, or in the case of the Proterra have sufficient charging opportunities for their quick charge battery, adding a RE only increases cost, including importantly maintenance due to the additional complexity.
One of the major advantages of pure electric vehicles is their very low maintenance.
There is though a case to be made for the provision of non-electric heating, so that if the bus is stuck in traffic it can still complete it's route.
Unlike putting a RE into the drivetrain the cost is modest and more than paid for by the increased reliability.


Davemart im talking about this bus not all busses. A bus like this is perfect for a dense city as it has enough people close enough together. But in most less dense cities you would wind up netteing too few riders per bus and your driver and bus costs would kill your budget.

Many us mass transit systems were run by complete twits who didnt factor that in and built systems that ran waay over budget and worse actualy polluted more then cars simply because they tried to use a system tailors for a dense city in a city that was far too sparce to support it.


I'm not sure why people are so obsessed with range extenders. Obviously this vehicle is designed to work as intended with batteries only. Since it can do that, adding more cost and complexity with an unnecessary range extender makes no sense at all. Makes about as much sense as putting an extra gas tank in your car so you can go 1000 miles on one fill up, it serves no purpose.


JRP3 has probably never seen our snowy days downtown traffic jams when city buses can move less than one mile an hour.

Snow + ice + multiple accidents are even worse.

A small on-board genset would definitely NOT be a luxury or a useless investment unless you are prepared to leave all your e-buses in the garage many days of the year.


Since we have CNG diesel buses now, why not CNG diesel hybrid? I don't know about battery life when you draw huge currents for take off, but super capacitors could help.

I seems like there are a lot of configurations to help that don't cost a lot. The most bang for the buck when transit bus budgets are tight and states are running deficits.


Denver's 16th Street Shuttle buses run a 1.25 mile route between the State Capital grounds and Union Station. The shuttles are Eco-Tek hybrids, Toyota 4-cyl 70HP gensets burning NG. They are "4-door", total low-floor, 40'ers. They run every "2" minutes. Two light rail lines cross the shuttle route. There are two Transit Centers for transfers to peripheral bus lines. Denver is NOT a megacity, nor is it high-density. This 'shuttle' system is technically a circulator and without doubt a success in its 27th year of operation. A 2-minute shuttle fills the transit need.


Thats a case where your going from a station to the state capital of course there are alot of people going from there to there. Thats realy no different then a bus going from airport to a nearby train station.. which begs the question why wasnt the staion put in walking diatance of the capital grounds.


Diesel buses become CNG diesel, then CNG diesel hybrid and then perhaps CNG diesel hybrid with heat recovery. Cost effective incremental improvements in buses and trucks will reduce oil imports and take some of the pressure off of the world oil markets going forward.

Nat Pearre

"RP3 has probably never seen our snowy days downtown traffic jams when city buses can move less than one mile an hour."

So let's see, our EV bus is sitting around doing nothing for an hour. Let's say it's operating 500W worth of lighting, and 200W of onboard computers and systems. So in that hour it consumes 0.7kWh of energy to run lights and systems. Out of a 102 kWh battery. Unless you're stuck for several days, I really don't see the problem.

Heating, as others have said, should be done with a fuel-fired heater, not with electricity (unless you have a good air-source heat pump).


Nat: The cost of an independent fossil fuel heating/cooling system would probably compare with and be even more costly than a standard mass produced small 10KW genset. Of course the e-bus HVAC could use a very high efficiency heat pump running on the bus main battery banks (sometime recharged by the on-board low cost genset or 10KW FC) during traffic jams.

Eventually, when batteries performance are increased by 2x (2015?), 4x (2020?)or 10x (2030+?), standby gensets may no longer be required.


Wintermane, your "That's a case of going from Union Station to state capital for a lot of people - really no different than from an airport to a train station - which begs the question why wasn't the station put in walking diatance of the capital grounds?" is a simplification that won't stand.

For the first 20 years, the shuttle was a 1/4 mile short of Union Station, and at the other end it's still short of capital buildings by 1/2 mile. 16th Street traverses central downtown Denver, busy enough but not high density. The shuttle serves people all day, not just twice daily train passengers. It keeps peripheral bus lines, their noise and fumes, out of this main downtown district.

Major railroads require separate ROWs. They can't and shouldn't run directly to important destinations like Capital buildings. Connectors/circulators/shuttles serve as transfer systems. Big city transit system design must integrate transfers between bus/bus and rail. Circulators can make the best transfer system because the time waiting for unavoidable transfers is minimal, they require the smallest fleet, and the vehicle can be designed specific to purpose.

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