The first phase of a ten-month trial for a zero-emissions, 40-foot, all-electric bus was completed in Gatineau, Quebec and Ottawa, Ontario in December.
The evaluation was performed by the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) in conjunction with AVT (the Société de gestion et d'acquisition de véhicules
de transport) and partial findings were presented at the 2013 EV/VE Conference and Tradeshow in Gatineau-Ottawa by Salah Barj, director of planning and development at STO. The battery-electric bus was supplied by BYD Co. Ltd. under a service agreement and continues it’s evaluations in partnership with the Société de transport de Montreal (STM) until Spring of 2014.
"As the instigator of the project, the STO is especially interested in this testing because bus fleet electrification is part of its 2005-2015 strategic development plan," explained STO Chairman Patrice Martin in July when the project commenced.
"Field testing will enable the transit corporations to share the results of the different projects in progress and determine the technology that best meets their needs. This initiative represents a step towards the targeted acquisition of all-electric buses, meaning zero emissions. The STO is embarking on the path to greener ways of doing things," stated Martin.
Salah Barj stated, “The BYD electric bus was nothing like anything we had seen or tested before, it was able to run our required 8-hour shift in service with only a night-time single charge at our bus garage. BYD’s bus itself has on-board chargers so that only 60 Kw of grid AC power was delivered at night to the bus through a power interface. This made for very convenient charging of the electric bus so that no peak-rate power was consumed.”
STO found that the average speed of drivers on Gatineau and Ottawa routes was 23 Km/hr, and the resulting distance the BYD bus could travel at this average speed was 250 Km (the equivalent of 1.3 kWh/ Km without air-conditioning on and 1.5 kWh/ Km with air-conditioning, and full passenger loads).
The report findings support BYD claims that the bus is incredibly efficient in the use of energy. BYD typically advertises a 250 Km (or 155+ mile) operational range for their 40 foot bus, however, while being driven by an operator who understands the vehicle and how to optimize regenerative braking, BYD claims that the range could well exceed 250 km. The range is a direct attribute of the sizing of the BYD’s Iron-Phosphate battery. BYD provides the largest battery of any electric bus supplied today with a 324 kWh total energy storage capacity.
Further, BYD claims (supported by the accompanying chart) that when bus average speeds increased up to the maximum speed of 70 Km/hr, that the
overall bus efficiencies increased to 0.75 kWh/ Km traveled (equivalent to 1.2 kWh/ mile) and the difference between “with” and “without air conditioning” on lessened.