HHP Summit 2017

GTrans’ Repowered Electric Drive Buses

October 20, 2015 in Electric Drive, money awarded, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$2.7 Million from the California Energy Commission to Support Project
As Fully Battery Electric BYD Bus Purchased Too for Comparison Purposes,
City of Gardena Transit Agency Considers Full Fleet Electrification by 2022

The City of Gardena (Los Angeles) is taking advantage of a $2.7 million award by the California Energy Commission to deploy and gather data on five 100% battery electric buses in disadvantaged areas. One of the GTrans agency’s 40-foot New Flyer low-floor buses has already been converted by Complete Coach Works and four others are in line. updated October 21

GTrans deployed the first of at least six fully battery electric 40-foot transit buses earlier this year.

GTrans deployed the first of at least six fully battery electric 40-foot transit buses earlier this year.

GTrans has also purchased a 40-foot fully battery electric bus from BYD. The vehicle, manufactured in Lancaster, Calif., was placed in service this month, says GTrans Gardena deputy director Paula Faust.

She expects her fleet of 57 gasoline-fueled hybrid electric buses to need be replaced between 2017 and 2022. “We’re looking very seriously at converting to an all-electric system,” she told F&F.

GTrans Is to Share What It Learns

CEC notes that new battery electric buses are “very expensive” with “few options available in the market.” Thus, as an ARFVTP/Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program grant recipient, Gardena is to deploy the battery buses, “produce technical and economic performance data, and identify challenges and solutions to the deployment of repowered buses,” and “provide information to industry and stakeholders to better understand technology capabilities and utilization.”

Complete Coach Works has bolstered its transit bus refurbishment business with a re-powered zero-emission bus it calls ZEPS, for Zero-Emission Propulsion System. Including a high-power charger, each vehicle costs about $600,000, Faust says.

‘Like New,’ and All-Electric

CCW’s strategy is to take previously used transit buses powered by diesel engines and remanufacture them “into a like-new condition with an all-electric powered drivetrain system.”

“The transformation of an old transit bus to like-new condition begins by dismantling the old bus to the chassis level,” CCW says. “Diesel engine, transmission, radiator and belt driven accessories are removed from the bus and the differential is remanufactured to a taller gear ratio of 6.1 from the existing ratio of 5.4. Shock absorbers, air bags, tie rod ends, and wheel hubs are replaced with new parts.

Any Bus Can Be Reborn

“New composite flooring and seating, electric air compressor, power steering pump, HVAC system, and all LED interior and exterior lighting are installed. The bus is also equipped with low rolling resistance tires, which reduce road drag and improve the vehicle operating range.

“The flexible drive system platform allows CCW to use any existing low or high floor bus body to remanufacture an all-electric transit bus, resulting in low cost and quick implementation of the bus,” CCW says.

CCW’s standout project to date is the conversion of 21 used Gillig buses to battery operation for IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp under a $12.2 million contract (F&F, December 8, 2014). Modular battery units with BMS/battery management systems were supplied by EV Grid.


150-Mile Range

Lithium ion cells are from Samsung, says CCW’s Ryne Shetterly, for packs with total capacity of 311 kilowatt-hours. They power a 131-kilowatt (176-horsepower) AC motor, he told F&F. Single-charge range is stated at a “conservative” 150 miles.

CCW has also converted buses for customers in Monterey, Calif. and Utah, where it is working on inductive wireless charging.

Approximately $300,000 of the CEC funding is allocated for program management by Calstart.

One of 21 CCW-remanufactured ZEPS buses for IndyGo in Indiana

One of 21 CCW-remanufactured ZEPS buses for IndyGo in Indiana

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Source: California Energy Commission with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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