Vta unveils zero emission buses expected to be put into use in may news mountain view online gas constant in kj


Elected officials and representatives from partners of the project gathered at the VTA Cerone bus yard in San Jose recently to talk about the concept, design and execution of the buses as well as their use in meeting California’s statewide goal for all transit fleets to have zero emissions by 2040.

The emission-less buses are 42 feet long, have 40 seats and can travel around 200 miles on one charge. They take an estimated eight hours to charge on ChargePoint machines, but the VTA is working on making chargers that will do the same in four hours a practical feature.

A function provided by supplier Clever Devices tracks the amount of energy buses use while in operation and provides dispatchers real-time information about that usage and predicts the amount of energy needed to complete the day’s work plan.

"The opportunity to give this to every single person in the community who wants a clean, healthy ride … that’s what this is all about," Popple said. "We thought, ‘What vehicle technology is the most accessible?’ but also ‘What vehicle technology is going to be the first to electrify?’ Buses are the best place to start."

The idea that smaller buses would be much less expensive to buy is right but the operating cost per bus is not a lot greater for the big double-length route 22 buses and for the very small community buses because each as one driver–a significant part of the operating cost. Maybe autonomous buses will have lower operating costs.

I don’t ride the bus nearly as much as I used to now that I am retired, but "empty", double-length route 22 buses have never been my experience. While I have been on very few that were "standing room only", I have also been on very few with less than 10 passengers. Until I retired last year I regularly commuted to and from work on the route 81 bus and my hours were not the most popular. While I was on very few with more than 10 passengers, I was also on very few with just me and the driver. Also, this route has special, extra buses, morning and afternoon, taking kids to and from school that are ofter "standing room only".

I agree that the route 22 run from PAMF in Palo Alto to downtown San Jose is very long but the route 522 bus runs nearly as frequently, and takes so much less time that it’s worth waiting for. Also, at 14 miles, this run takes 28 minutes in a car at an average speed of 30 mph–a high speed, considering the many signals.

"b" is correct that energy production economizes when centralized. "@b" also right: accurate accounting of transmission, storage, and transduction losses impairs that efficiency significantly. The upshot depends all on the specifics. (That’s basic energy-balance accounting, which many a technician or undergraduate engineering student could explain to you offhand.) "@b" also raised the very important further point of lifetime energy accounting (which has its own carbon footprints) for production and disposal of the vehicle’s components. In the case of modern electric cars, that has been quite an issue, equivocating what at a superficial glance may look like a radically cleaner and carbon-free alternative to internal combustion.

The human habit of considering only facets obvious on the surface (like how much exhaust a vehicle itself produces when in use) underlies many misconceptions about energy. This is the famous conceit of EV drivers who boast that it produces zero carbon footprint. True only in the mind of someone ignoring how the energy was first generated, efficiency factors in getting access to it, and the production and retirement of the vehicle itself. Even seemingly pristine primary power sources like hydroelectricity, burning no fuel in operation, still entail significant carbon footprints when the reality is examined as a whole rather than selectively.

So you mischaracterized "@b’s" comment in reply; the comment didn’t suggest at all that powering a house on its (not "it’s") own generator is more efficient. And yet ironically, in some distribution and location situations that could even be true. It all depends on quantitative details not in evidence here.

Some Wikipedia reference info on both full energy-path and product life-cycle efficiencies (vital but frequently overlooked background issues for this topic — YIMBY, above, for example, labeled them "essentially nothing," and many other people aren’t even aware of them):

"EV [electric-vehicle] ‘tank-to-wheels’ efficiency is about a factor of 3 higher than internal combustion engine vehicles.[98] Energy is not consumed while the vehicle is stationary, unlike internal combustion engines which consume fuel while idling. However, looking at the well-to-wheel efficiency of EVs, their total emissions, while still lower, are closer to an efficient gasoline or diesel in most countries where electricity generation relies on fossil fuels.[107][108][109] / Well-to-wheel efficiency of an EV has less to do with the vehicle itself and more to do with the method of electricity production. . . Thus, when "well-to-wheels" is cited, one should keep in mind that the discussion is no longer about the vehicle, but rather about the entire energy supply infrastructure."