[LINK] eHighways & electric planes

David Lochrin dlochrin at key.net.au
Mon Jun 27 13:39:40 AEST 2016

On 2016-06-24 13:30 Karl Auer wrote:

> 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.

That's fine in principle, but I strongly suspect the optimum size of a bus is determined by its service requirements, such as the number of people to be moved between major centres at various times during the day together with the economics of capital cost, garaging, parts & maintenance, staffing, etc.  There's no way we're going to triple the number of buses because of the limitations of battery technology.

> 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.

Yes, but right now battery and fuel-cell technology is more expensive.  NSW State Transport thinks even hybrid technology is currently too expensive, partly because of battery costs.  But doubtless all these technologies will become cheaper, probably in unpredictable ways, and that should change things.

David L.

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