Fully remanufactured all-electric transit bus amazes mechanics, operations staff
What if, instead of being relegated to the landfill, the older buses used by TransIT here in Frederick could have new life breathed into them? Not only new life, but cleaner, quieter life - as all-electric transit buses?
This scenario isn’t at all that far-fetched, as demonstrated by Bob L’Hommedieu, Director of Quality and Customer Satisfaciton for Complete Coach Works out of Riverside, CA (www.completecoach.com/zeps) one recent morning in Frederick. The bus he brought to show the TransIT staff sat running in the lot, and as we approached, all were exclaiming about how quiet it was. Bob opened up the rear engine compartment and showed us how the magic is made.
Probably most impressive is the fact that the battery packs are self-enclosed and very, very clean. There are no fluids to monitor and change, no moving parts to maintain. The visiting bus was a 2002 model, fully refurbished inside and out with composite light-weight flooring, energy efficient LED lighting, low rolling resistance tires, and an intelligent climate control system. The engine never gets more than about 20 degrees above ambient temperature, meaning that you can touch it with no danger of burning yourself. No gas, no oil, no transmission fluid, no diesel engine!….and no cost to replace these things. Although the cost of the electric bus is higher than a typical diesel bus, the projected savings on fuel and preventive maintenance could result in a savings of approximately $100,000 over the lifetime of the bus
There are some issues being worked out that will make this technology even more affordable, and the day when the electric bus comes to Frederick may not be that far into the future. We at TransIT were certainly impressed with the performance of the bus that came to visit, and we believe that our communities would greatly benefit from a fleet of buses that doesn’t pollute (with exhaust or noise).
To see more about the bus and how it works, watch a short video featuring Jay Leno at www.completecoach.com/jayleno.