Transit Vehicle Rebuilt as Battery-Electric Gets New York Trial
The ZEPS bus by Complete Coach Works, a 40-foot 1996 New Flyer converted to full battery electric operation, is being tested in Manhattan by MTA New York City Transit. The payoff? Potential for a quiet, full-size city bus that can work 100 miles a day burning no fuel at all.
ZEPS stands for Zero Emission Propulsion System. It can be installed in used vehicles for a cost of about $500,000 (F&F, February 9).
Lead customer Ben Franklin Transit in Richland, Wash. expects, given the area low electricity rates, operating costs of just 7¢ per mile, as compared to the current $1.03 per miles for diesel, says fleet manager Dick Ciccone. Greenhouse gases will be reduced by 97%, he says, citing a recent Calstart assessment.
Hours Are Key for New York
For New York’s MTA, “This is a first run of a new concept,” chief Department of Buses maintenance officer Henry Sullivan said in an agency post. “We currently operate clean diesels, hybrids and compressed natural gas (CNG) but we are always willing to examine new products and new technologies.
“There are a lot of questions and at this point we are evaluating how many hours of operation we can squeeze out of the batteries before they require charging.”
“One of the first things we want to determine is whether an all-electric bus can stay in service during our stop-and-go duty cycle, which can often amount to a 20-hour workday,” Sullivan said. Also important, says Gary LaBouff of New York City Transit R&D, is the fact that the electric bus is quiet.
See the ZEPS Bus at APTA
LaBouff told F&F that NYCT has invited several electric busbuilders to bring their vehicles for trials, and that CCW has been the first to step up.
The tests this week in New York mark the first of a tour of some two dozen cities by the CCW demonstrator. Ben Franklin’s bus, a 1995 Gillig that had logged some 386,000 miles on diesel, is being fitted now with its all-electric drive at CCW’s facility in Riverside, Calif. It’s to be shown at the APTA Bus & Paratransit conference May 5-8 in Indianapolis.
Separately, Complete Coach Works has opened a new bus refurbishment in Alameda, Calif. following its acquisition of American Bus Repair.
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Source: Complete Coach Works with Fleets & Fuels follow-up