Last time I discussed the benefits of having larger box type or rectangle shape for Electric Vehicles. This time let me take the discussion a bit further by elongating the length of the electrical vehicle to that of a Bus – Not the small mini bus but the big massive Volvo type… luxury type buses. Of course mini buses can be as useful too.
1. The bus has enough surface area on the roof and on both sides (up to the height of the wheel) to carry a high density of solar panels. The height of the windows can be reduced to enable more solar panels to be fixed on to the sides.
2. The Main bus stations or Depots usually have large area where the bus is parked during route-change and driver-change. These large open areas can be covered solar paneled thereby providing shade to the customers waiting and also creating electricity.
3. The Routes the Bus travels are usually one to two hour long. At the end of the route they park the bus and the driver goes away for refreshment, toilet or lunch break or till some other driver takes over. This whole process usually 30minutes. Thus the bus will be grid charged for 30 minutes every 2nd hour and at the same time bus will gets solar charged for 10 to 12 hrs while the sun is up.
4. The higher seating position of the passengers allows a huge space below the floor to place batteries.
5. All bus stops can be converted to solar paneled shades.
6. School buses make perfect Solar-charged Electric Vehicles as these buses are used for a maximum of 2 hrs in the morning to pickup kids from school and 2 hours in the afternoon to drop them back home. Rest of the time it is parked. These buses can be parked either in the open sun or under solar shaded parking and charge their batteries.
7. Buses do not travel above 100 kmph thus making them more suitable and safer for Electric Battery use.
The cons described for an electric bus is that when the bus is stuck in Traffic its electricity is wasted due to the running of Air-conditioning system. This is generally termed “inefficient use of energy”. This problem can be avoided by:
1. Reducing the size of the windows to ¼ its current size,
2. Using double sided glass window panes so that the inside glass will remain cold while the outside glass which is exposed to the heat will be hot.
3. Apply heavy thermal tint on the outside.
4. All of the above.
5. Or make buses without air-conditioner and with just open windows as most of the buses are in India.
It is only when the air conditioner is taken into consideration that the problem of efficient utilization comes up. But still in my opinion there is nothing wasted even when the bus is stationary because the bus is CREATING its own energy while in comparison a diesel bus would be CONSUMING energy. So how can there be any waste? Therefore the statement “inefficient use of energy” is very lame excuse if not a stupid statement to make in favor of Petrol/Diesel vehicles.
The Indian Government had in fact in the year 2011 tried to introduce Electric Buses and had tried the idea out via a complicated procedure of expecting BHEL and Toyota to create a JV partnership and then expecting them to introduce the electric buses. BHEL and Toyota are giants in their own field so its like asking Microsoft and Apple to form a joint venture in order to create a brand new mobile phone for IBM. Anybody expecting such a venture to form... must be pushed down from Mount Everest.
What is so complicated to make battery vehicle really beats me?!?! The Govt. of India, a country that regularly sends rockets into space and creates its own complicated AC/DC railway engines, missiles and submarines cannot make an Electric Bus? They need Toyota to do this? Toyota, although are the No.1 car manufacturer in the World it still makes teeny-weeny cars in comparison to the higher capacity and more complicated Railway engines that BHEL makes. I think they were expecting some big bribe money from Toyota to change hands and which did not happen so we don’t have Electric Buses.
· 12 meters long.
· Electronically controlled air suspension.
· Low-floor and ample space to allow easy passenger loading and unloading.
· The front windscreen occupies 2/3 of the front face of the bus for maximum viewing and safety.
· The silver body with black side windows gives the electric bus an elegant exterior.
· Exquisite adjustable leather seating for driver.
· High-quality red and black leather seats for passengers.
· Carefully engineered sound insulation for a much quieter cabin experience.
· The "Fe" battery used on the bus is non-polluting, and the chemical materials contained in the battery can be recycled.
· The solar cells installed on top of electric bus can supply more power to supplement the Fe battery.
Suppose a bus travels only 100 Kilometers per day and the bus has an average of 25 Ltrs per 100kms.
Thus each bus will need 25 ltrs of diesel each day. Usually each bus operator has more than 10 Buses, but now we will calculate for only one bus. Therefore in a month it will need (25Ltrs x 30 days) 750 ltrs of Diesel. The cost of a liter of Diesel is Rs 52 so Rs 52 x 750 ltrs = Rs 39,000. In a year it will cost Rs 39,000 x 12 months= 4,68,000.
Rs 4,68,000 per year is a huge saving for ANY Bus operator! Especially when you take into consideration that the cost of a 54 Seat TATA Starbus is only Rs 14,00,000. Bus fleet operators like BEST that run Non-Air-conditioned buses can save hundreds of cores per year. The country can save millions of rupees of Foreign Exchange by instructing all Government Bus operators to turn into Electric Buses Immediately. and to change all bus stops and bus station/depots into Solar Paneled roof depots. This task has to be done on a War footing.