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Utah Transits Authority adding 5 battery-electric New Flyer buses to fleet

UTA and the University of Utah received a $5.4-million Low-No grant from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase five New Flyer battery-electric buses. (Earlier post.) Three of these will be used on route 2 in Salt Lake City and two that will serve the University of Utah campus (also in Salt Lake City).

Each all-electric bus in service with UTA will save the equivalent of 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year. For the three electric buses UTA will be operating on route 2, that’s a savings of approximately 175 metric tons of gas emissions per year. New Flyer has focused its electrification development on its Xcelsior platform, which also offers diesel, CNG, electric trolley, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell variants. (Earlier post.)


The NMC Li-ion battery pack in the electric Xcelsior stores up to 300 kWh, powering a 160 kW Siemens electric drive system. When braking, the motor acts as a generator to recover energy.

The air compressor and air conditioning compressors are electrically powered. DC power is converted to AC power and is supplied to each of these major systems separately. This allows each system to operate more reliably and efficiently, with minimum power consumption. The bus also as a converter to supply 24-volt DC power for power steering, interior fans, lights, and other accessories. Vanner provides the DC/DC converter.

An electrically-driven air conditioning system is used to cool the bus when needed. For moderately cold temperatures, the bus uses electric heating. For very cold conditions, an optional liquid fuel heater warms the passenger cabin using a small amount of renewable bio-diesel. This helps maintain bus range during very cold climate conditions.

In 2013, UTA began acquiring compressed natural gas (CNG) buses with the potential to expand the CNG eet to more than 100 buses in the near future. Currently, the UTA bus fleet mix is approximately 45% pre-2006 diesel, 42% clean diesel, 7% CNG and 6% hybrid-electric.




Are those 'clean' diesel from VW or Mitsubishi?

Using (5) e-buses from New Flyer is a good mini start but is very far from the 1000 e-buses per major city being purchased in China?


It's interesting to watch the transition to EVs taking place in the large and small segments, buses and bicycles, while the largest segment, gross polluters in the car industry, just keep rolling along destroying the Planet with SUVs as if there's no problem.


Yes, 'CAFE' may have to be modified to 50+ empg by 2020/22 and 60+ empg by 2025/27 or so. SUVs and Pick-ups should be included to change the status quo?

Most ICEVs would be quickly phased out in favor of up-dated lighter 60+ mpg HEVs, 80+ empg PHEVs, 100+ empg BEVs and FCEVs?


What purpose do SUVs have other than fostering the "King of the Road" impression?


Very good question Yoatmon.


Yoatman, SUVs and pickups are great if you need to overcompensate for a small tool but you can't afford that Ferrari to really do the trick.


Overweight people (about 40%) and couples with 1/2 dozen kids feel more at home in large SUVs and/or large pick-ups.

In reality, people who feel richer with bigger/heavier vehicles are main buyers.

Thomas Pedersen


Cars are really the most expensive vehicles to electrify. Why? Because:

- They have the most dead mass per passenger/payload
- They travel much fewer miles to amortize the cost of the battery (fewer than e.g. buses or trains - or trucks)
- They have the greatest variability in miles driven per trip of all vehicles (scooters, trucks, buses, trains, etc. all have much more consistent miles driven between stops/charges)
- They have less available space to place the batteries (compared to buses, trains, trucks, ferries, etc.)

The one thing cars have going for them, though, is that the investment in propulsion technology for cars is 1-2 orders of magnitude larger than other means of transport. Furthermore, the public's willingness to invest i cars is much greater than any other form of transport, because the choice of a car is so personal.


@ TP:

If you buy one of the 5 rustless, 41 to 55 mpg Toyota HEVs, good for 325,000+ miles and 15+ years, your yearly amortized cost and operation cost per Km will be much lower.

A new 55 mpg, all weather, Prius 2016 @ about $26,000 will be almost as cheap if not much cheaper to operate than an equivalent extended range BEV.

By 2018 or so, the Toyota Mirai FCEV @ about 57,000 may be the top choice for extended range all weather green vehicle.

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