[LINK] eHighways & electric planes

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Fri Jun 24 13:30:01 AEST 2016

On Fri, 2016-06-24 at 13:02 +1000, David Lochrin wrote:
> On 2016-06-24 10:13 Tom Worthington wrote:
> Battery technology has reached the point where it would be feasible
> > to use electric buses, without the need for overhead wires.
> I don't think battery technology is anywhere near that point.  The
> Transport for NSW specification (2012) states the "daily operating
> duration" for all except school busses is "18 hours per day or up to
> 450 km per shift.  Buses must be capable of achieving this without
> the need to refuel."

A LARGE part of the problem with adopting green technologies is the
attitude that people often have that anything new must to be a drop-in
replacement, requiring no change at all to "how we do things".

Change the specification, change the attitude, change the approach and
suddenly much becomes possible.

For example, lots of small buses instead of fewer large ones. Electric
buses are lighter than normal ones, and can also be better purpose
built for metro use; a lot of internal systems (brakes etc) can be
built more economically as a result. Some expensive internal systems
disappear altogether - gearboxes for example. The drive chain is
altogether simplified. Maintenance costs are lower. These savings
across a fleet allow for vehicle substitution - one bus might only get
225km, and it only has to work for 8 hours. Maybe battery swap stations
are possible; drive in, new battery pack in five minutes, drive out. Or
whatever, you see the point.

There are usually a lot of ways in which "The Rules" are written around
particular technologies. There is the possibly apocryphal story of the
chap that built an electric car and had to bolt a standards-conforming
exhaust pipe onto it to get it registered...

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

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