Albuquerque Plans To Reject And Return BYD Electric Buses

NOV 18 2018 BY MARK KANE 129

Albuquerque will return BYD buses and order… ICE.

The City of Albuquerque, New Mexico wasn’t satisfied with the 60-foot all-electric buses received from BYD and it seems that the deal will end up in court.

Mayor Tim Keller lists tons of problems with BYD buses, ordered for by the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project. According to the article, so far 15 buses were delivered (out of 20 ordered) with a significant delay.

The biggest problem was range – just about 177 miles instead of the expected 275 miles. The city says that batteries were overheating in the summer, the charging infrastructure wasn’t installed and even brakes were found not working in one case. Together with other issues, it all sounds miserable:

“Last month, Keller announced a hold on the project pending inspection of the buses, citing brake failures and other equipment malfunctions discovered during driver training and testing.

“When we started running the buses on test runs, we found major problems with the battery range, the brakes and some electrical issues,” Keller said. “They seem to be things that were already on the ‘to be fixed list,’ but they started getting worse.””

“ABQ Ride mechanics discovered last month that the center and rear brakes on buses had zero air pressure, yet the vehicles still were able to move, relying on front brakes alone.

Other problems include: the lack of undercarriage protection, buses that wouldn’t stop when emergency doors were utilized, cracking on bus exteriors, mirrors not set up correctly, wiring problems, and of great concern – the electric handicap chair lock becomes unsecure when the driver turns on the air conditioner.”

The city plans to reject and return all the electric buses.

Because no other manufacturer was willing to produce 60-foot buses to Albuquerque’s specification, the city will try to order 10 conventional buses, but the time it takes to get those is another 18 months.

““No one will make an electric bus to our specifications because they say it’s not possible,” Keller said. “No other company will do it. There’s no option for electric. We’ll go with a version of clean diesel or gas, then we’ll look to phase in electric once the technology catches up.””

We are not in a position to judge whether BYD really does not meet the requirements, so let’s wait and see how those 60-footers work for other agencies.

Hat Tip to Spoonman!!!

Source: govtech.com

Categories: Bus, BYD

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129 Comments on "Albuquerque Plans To Reject And Return BYD Electric Buses"

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Daniel

What’s this clean diesel they are talking about? Did someone wash the diesel somehow?

Tim

They must be going with VW buses.

Link

I wouldn’t call it clean diesel but large modern engines in trucks or busses can burn diesel much more efficient than small diesel engines in cars, emitting much less of the poisonous nitrogen oxides.

Joseph K

“but large modern engines in trucks or busses can burn diesel much more efficient than small diesel engines in cars, emitting much less of the poisonous nitrogen oxides.”

Not sure that’s strictly correct. They may have urea/Adblue type systems better integrated.

scott

You are a link to the past. A past filled with clean diesel lies and horribly polluted air.

Pushmi-Pullyu

The much more serious hazard to public health is all the carcinogen-laced soot particles put out by diesel engines. Modern diesel vehicles, at least street-legal ones, are supposed to have soot filters installed; filters which reportedly will filter out 90% of the soot. So that’s a great improvement, but to call it “clean diesel” is nothing but a scam.

SJC

Diesel/CNG is cleaner.

zzzzzzzzzz

Diesel may be not cleaner, but CNG should be clean enough and functional in New Mexico.

SJC

Lots of negative votes, diesel running CNG IS cleaner, some hate facts that conflict with their beliefs.

Dave100e

I used to come on here every day but for this very reason I stopped. Many people on here will disregard anything you say if it doesn’t fit their idea of how the world works. Delusion is a somewhat over used word but in this case it’s actually pretty apt.

It’s sad because InsideEV’s is a probably the best EV site for up to date news, the writers are generally (but not always) unbiased and honest and I’m yet to find anything else that matches it. I want to be a part of the comments because you can learn so much speaking to people and you can contribute so much in return, but when there’s so many people with such a closed mindset you’re often wasting your time.

Impartial Observer

@Dave100e

Truer words have never been spoken.

amt

Yea, They Brain Washed It , The People Not The Diesel …. 🙁 …

Al D

Cummings Westport is replacing diesel engines with natural gas engines. That’s a step in the right direction. HFC will be here soon and may still be preferred for large vehicles over solid-state batteries when they arrive, which will be after the hydrogen infrastructure is in place. I’d prefer large vehicles be HFC to keep the transportation industry from hogging all the solid-state batteries and stressing the grid. Solid-state will revolutionize the personal vehicle industry.

Texas Leaf

The big problem with Diesel engines is NOX emissions. VW was cheating on the NOX emission test and that is how dieselgate got started. A common way to control NOX emissions is with a urea injector for the exhaust but there are a lot of other ways.

earl colby pottinger

Does BYD have a thermal system on their batteries. New Mexico gets hot at times.

Tom

Albuquerque has more of a mountain climate. Fairly decent in summer compared to say Phoenix. Mid 90s and dry. Certainly it isn’t San Francisco, but nor is it Dallas.

Pluto

I’ve heard BYD vehicles (in general) have cheap quality. I didn’t realize it might apply to their commercial segment too…

Tom

This isn’t the first city to have issues. LA for example. BYD buses are pretty much crap. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-electric-buses-20180520-story.html

dan

They should have picked a manufacturing hub in SC, or TN like VW, Nissan, BMW, etc. The buses were probably put together by pot heads at their CA plant.

Roy_H

Followed you link. What a blistering denunciation of BYD! Poor quality and unrealistic claims. Everything I read points to a culture of doing things the cheapest way possible and promise to fix later. But later never comes. One of the major points was the rapid degradation of BYD batteries, 30% in just a few thousand miles of operation. BYD recommends operation between 85% and 15% charge but advertises range based on 100% to 0%.

Roy_H

Why was my comment removed?

Steven Loveday

fixed. bot moderated it

windbourne

BYD is top of the CHinese line in terms of QA.
And yes, they sux badly.
What amazes me, is that anybody would buy their trash.
My local denver RTD did. They continue to screw up so much and waste so much money.

yo

Actually for passabger vehicles GAC Trumpchi is the leading Chinese Auto maker in terms if quality…

windbourne

things have changed then.

ModernMarvelFan

BYD has never been known o be top of the line in QA in China. So, I don’t know where you get that information from. But from your past post patterns, it seems that you make up a lot of stuff all the time.

Windbourne

such as?

Matthew

New Flyer XE60 to the rescue? New Flyer should be able to build a better bus to their specs.

specialgreen

Many New Flyers are assembled by Minnesotans… so you know the quality will be “not half bad.”

Will

Yelp. Flyer should just send their prototypes quick to NM. Do not get ICe

John

Having a non-standard specification it just asking for trouble in the first place. And the cost, for having a special made as against a standard off the shelf model. Simply crazy!

jamcl3

I am not sure there really is a “standard specification” in the transit bus market.

Mr. M

i don’t know any company that has a standerd speced bus.

Assaf

BYD does have quite a few.

Impartial Observer
Nicholas

They have a news tip email BTW

Impartial Observer

They do a good job of hiding it. 😐

robus

contact.insideevs@gmail.com – it took a couple of seconds…

Terawatt

Seriously? They use a private Gmail account, when a commercial kit from Google costs a few bucks a month?? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal (there are terms and conditions, y’know).

Pushmi-Pullyu

Illegal? What a doofus. 🙄

wavelet

I think you meant “violates the terms of service” rather than “illegal” in the sense of violating an actual law.
While I haven’t checked it in the past few years, in the past commercial use was absolutely fine — there was certainly nothing against it in the T.O.S. and people who explicitly asked Google got the same response.

That said, there are disadvantages: Unlike the personal gmail account, The business gmail product does have guaranteed backup, and less severe limits on message/attachment size and message volumes. Also, it does look more professional.
None of these are an issue for a tips account.

Impartial Observer

Are you using the mobile website? On the mobile website, it’s still hidden behind a nondescript menu item or nondescript hyperlink. It wouldn’t take too long to recode the webpage to give”news tips” its own menu item or hyperlink.

robus

Regular website, well you have the email now 🙂

@Brian_Henderson

Interesting case … How does what Albuquerque experienced compare with other cities experiences? I know at least 30-40 cities are piloting 2-3 electric buses.

While the range issue may be related to a more extreme climate; the lack of infrastructure is bad planning on the city of Albuquerque‘s part. The two issue may be related. Given city now has some operational data … better matching routes and infrastructure to the buses capabilities should elievate concerns.

Even with 177 mile range … buses average on 25-30 mph on typical routes … is still 6-7 hours on a charge. A simple operational procedure change to charge a few hours between morning and evening rush hour (or at longer stops on route) … instead of trying to run a full day … would extend range meet cities daily transportation requirements.

I expect there is much more on way of politics, and personal issues beyond bus speculations not covered in article above.

Just know other cities have operational transit bus fleets, running without issues. Perhaps Albuquerque can learn something that allows them to keep the BYD buses in operation or choose a supplier that better matches operational needs?

TJC

I lived in Albuquerque for two years. The vast majority of people there are culturally opposed to electric mobility. Police were called on a few Tesla owners parked at a public parking garage once. I saw that on a YouTube video.

jamcl3

Police called on what grounds? Link to YouTube please…

Pushmi-Pullyu

“I expect there is much more on way of politics, and personal issues beyond bus speculations not covered in article above.”

Well said, sir.

The mentions of infrastructure problems and “clean diesel” are red flags which suggest to me that we’re not getting all the facts here, that the Mayor is putting out spin to excuse why his city hasn’t handled deployment of the buses well.

Unless BYD was contracted to install the BEV bus chargers, which does not seem likely to me, then at the very least he’s conflating two issues and, apparently, trying to shift blame to BYD.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Hmmm… I posted this comment before reading the article linked above, by Tom.

I retract my comment; seems there have been problems previously reported about BYD’s BEV buses. Tom’s link deserves repeating:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-electric-buses-20180520-story.html

Ming
No I think it’s pretty clear it’s politics. Albuquerque has had free buses from BYD for a year, yet the mayor is completely unable to get even some sort of token bus service running. He could even use the city’s regular buses for the route, but that’s not happening. He regularly badmouths the bus vendor, the previous mayor, and the fundamentals of the project in public in a very toxic way. I think it’s telling that BYD stopped returning their phone calls and no other bus vendor was willing to supply buses to the project. Although the LA Times article does have a small kernel of truth in it, I think it’s mostly a hit job against BYD by the anti-China mob. BYD won those contracts because they were the only vendor with a factory in California. Given that California’s manufacturing industries are uncompetitive because of its labor regulations and carbon pricing, it’s reasonable that California would be really reticent to turn around and spend their carbon tax dollars in job-stealing states with low wages and poor environmental records. Is it fair to impose environmental taxes on your manufacturing industries and then spend those same tax dollars in states that… Read more »
Ron

The plan was that the buses would start the day with 275 miles of range. After each ~20 mile out&back trip, a bus would plug in for about 15 minutes while the driver took a break. By the end of the day, the bus would have a small amount of range left.
Because the buses couldn’t make it to the end of the day, a second charging station was to be built at the turn-around point.
The whole project was crammed down the throat of objecting populace by a lame duck mayor who owned a big construction company Some of the stops were placed so the tail end of the bus hung out into an intersection, or were angled to leave a large gap. Plenty of blame to go around. A previous talk show host used to say: NM, where government corruption is a way of life.

Impartial Observer

Thanks for the insight Ron.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Let me echo Impartial Observer in thanking you, Ron, for your perspective on this mess.

It seems this story deserves a far more extensive report than the article here.

zzzzzzzzzz

6-7 hours is not enough. Transit buses typically run 2 shifts.
En route charging may help for now, but what they will do at record high of 107 F or record low of -17 F in Albuquerque, few years later down the road with reduced battery capacity? Leave passengers stranded and say “sorry this electric bus is junk that only works in good weather on short routes, but greasy hand politicians wanted it no matter what, so go by foot now”? Not the way to win public support.

Will

Plugin a bus is stupid. It should collect power by catngraph

Foersom

Catngraph? Do you mean pantograph? E.g. like Oppcharge.

https://www.oppcharge.org/

KevinW

He probably intended a portmanteau of catenary and pantograph. New words gotta start somewhere, why not here…

Sega Songha

Is biodiesel out if the question? I know they love fast food and all things fried there. Could be the right move.

Micke Larsson

Why do you want to pollute the poor Albuquerque people?

Pushmi-Pullyu

As others have said, if Albuquerque wants an alternative to BEV buses, then they should look at operating them on CNG. Burning biodiesel is fractionally less of a public health hazard than burning regular diesel, but isn’t nearly as much of an improvement as using natural gas.

Jean-Pierre White

Correct. Biodiesel is still diesel. It burns and pumps out fumes. The only thing biodiesel has going for it is its renewable. For some reason people think renewable is always good. Renewable can still be dirty. CNG while not renewable is cleaner.

Nicholas

They should get the electric New Flyer or use renewable natural gas, renewable diesel for the whole fleet until all electric.

jamcl3

Proterra is really the king of EV transit buses in the US. New Flyer is catching up maybe, but they have issues to work out as well.

Paul GOVAN

I had no idea that buses were so popular anywhere in the States that they need a) to be 60ft long and b) drive such long distances at a stretch with no time for a quick 30 min fast top-up.
These buses are built/assembled in the US right? The Chinese can’t be blamed for poor workmanship this time ?
Also: buses have huge roof-space for solar – solar-assisted EVs are being hyped right now – why not buses, BYD ?
Paul G

scott

Like a lot of Chinese companies BYD produces inferior quality products, with overstated specs, and likely no chance of returning a defective and/or falsely advertised product.

Sammy

BYD has a factory in SoCal and AFAIk, just get the rolling chassis in from China. The rest is build locally. There does seem to be a good amount of American Manufacture in the busses.

Tom

The batteries, motors, etc are what’s really the issue here and those are not made here.

windbourne

nope. The plant is PURE assembly. NOTHING is made here in that. They simply put a kit together.

drpawansharma

Another market just waiting for Tesla to swoop in

Foersom

Tesla missed the bus. In Europe electric buses is big business. Many companies is in this market: Irizar, Solaris, Volvo, VDL, Heuliez, Mercedes…

Pushmi-Pullyu

If this is true, then it’s a serious hit to BYD’s reputation for building BEV buses.

But I have serious doubts about this Mayor’s claims. There are red flags here, such as trying to blame delays in charging infrastructure on BYD, and the mention of “clean diesel”. Red flags suggesting he’s trying to shift blame onto BYD for poor planning on the part of his administration.

And “clean diesel”, seriously? This suggests a level of ignorance on the subject that should cause us to seriously question everything this mayor said. Maybe BYD’s buses aren’t nearly as problematic as he’s claiming?

Impartial Observer

“If this is true . . . But I have serious doubts about this Mayor’s claims.”

Get up to speed Pu-Pu. A couple of cities have reported that BYD’s electric buses are crappy. Like Albuquerque, the BYD electric buses that Los Angeles ordered are also plagued with problems: stalls, stops, and breakdowns.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-electric-buses-20180520-story.html

Routybouty

Asking because I have no idea…how do these compare to the rate of diesel breakdowns?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Thank you for your input. Yeah, obviously I was not up to date on this subject, and I see now that this isn’t the first report of serious problems with BYD’s BEV buses.

Thanks to you — and Tom, in his post above — for linking to this article.

REXisKing

Exactly. “Clean Diesel” means everything else is suspect.
Because everyone knows there’s no clean diesel.

Tom

Yes there is. The problem is that ‘clean diesel’ came to be used with ‘we use regular diesel fuel but are really good at scrubbing the exhaust’. But there are companies that provide diesel from numerous renewable sources. Most people think soybean oil when they think of ‘bio diesel’. But there are numerous feed stocks being utilized these days. This company is already producing around 750 million gallons a year. Of course lots of people don’t buy into using waste fats and such as being considered green. However it is true that independent of whatever environmental benefit may be realized, there is also reduction in local emissions from use of this fuel. It’s effectively free of all the nasty things such as sulfur that are in regular diesel. https://regi.com/home

Tom
Also you can make virtually any kind of fuel you want from syngas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. That technology has been around since the Nazis who perfected it. You can use a wide range of feedstocks such as coal (Beulah, ND for example), oil, methane, etc. Liquid fuel as a chemical ‘battery’ has numerous advantages. But the question is what about the feed stock? Certainly coal is right out if the claim is eco friendliness. In Germany, Audi has used a variant of this idea to create e-Gas (synthetic natural gas) and e-diesel (synthetic diesel) and has a functioning plant. They use solar and wind to provide the power and then make the fuels quite frankly from thin air. Fascinating process. So Audi has a business model whereby one can buy their car which uses natural gas (VW/Audi makes a large quantity of these worldwide) or diesel and you get the fuel from e-gas or e-diesel as appropriate. They make 1 gallon of e-fuel for every gallon you make. Yes they inject fuel it into the ‘grid’ so you don’t buy that exact gallon but it’s no different than utilities such as Green Mountain selling you all renewable electricity in… Read more »
Dav8or

Take notice all you folks out there that wish we could buy all these cheap Chinese BEVs they sell by the thousands in China.

Terawatt

They are still behind. I’m sure they are getting closer every month though. BYD for instance seems very much like a European company, in terms of employees, headquarters in Germany, production in China… but is Chinese owned, and probably suffering from government interference to some degree.

antrik

Headquarters in Germany? What gave you that strange idea?…

Jean-Pierre White

People get so confused. BYD is not a household name (yet).

I went to an EV event in Nashville earlier this year and local government representatives proudly showcased the BEV buses they use on short routes downtown. We got on and it was nice on a hot day to have an air conditioned bus. A really nice representative mentioned they are made by BYD. So I remarked Oh a Chinese company!! Oh no they are American I was told, they are based in California!!

A US HQ in California maybe. If the government staff don’t know much about the companies they are buying from we can rest assured our tax dollars go to waste more often than not.

As it happens the buses seem to do the job they were bought for and the charging infrastructure is in place. They run around downtown empty most of the time anyway, at least no pollution despite the under-utilization.

bob

Funny because these buses were all made in Lancaster USA, the tens of thousands other buses BYD sold everywhere else were built in China and had no issues, regardless of climate.

Question is why are there such a big quality difference between the same thing made in China and USA, is it due simply to poor American manufacturing competency, or sabatoge.

In either case this is being widly seen in China as an example of why you shouldnt build plants in the US, explains why Foxcoon pulled out of Wisconsin too

Dav8or

Who says the ones in China and elsewhere are just fine? Likely they have the same issues. Do you really know they are exactly the same bus?

robus

Given the lack of quality independent journalism in China I don’t think anyone can claim to know what the real situation is there!

Bill Howland

Can’t say that I’m surprised, but this is just another company overpromising and under delivering. Hopefully other municipalities’ legal departments will scrutinize similar purchases. With some companies, the most important feature of the vehicle is the WARRANTY.

Frank

This is what happens when you go with the cheapest bidder from China. I am surprised, well not really, so many city governments bought these busses from BYD. Doesn’t say much for government.

Hauer

Problem is the American high quality bus producers could not even offer anything for those tenders.
Wonder why.

windbourne

https://www.proterra.com/

apparently you trolls are out tonight

Allan

I think they should work with Proterra instead, they sounds more promising to me so far.

Dav8or

It sounds like to me that the City of Albuquerque required 275 miles range and the other manufacturers admitted they couldn’t do it, but BYD said they could. Now it seems they can’t either.

windbourne

proterra has no issue hitting 275.

KLD

http://www.vdlbuscoach.com/News/News-Library/2018/Europa-s-grootste-elektrische-busvloot-in-operatie.aspx?lang=en-US

Here in Amsterdam there is a bus fleet of 100 60foot electric busses in full operation . Don’t just buy electric busses , buy the infrastructure that comes with it .

zzzzzzzzzz

These are VDL buses, not BYD crap. Average 300 km per day in mild marine climate, up to 250-420 kW charging with pantograph.
https://ecv-fi-bin.directo.fi/@Bin/35a3f07f437aef715aa38e304c6d6594/1542584758/application/pdf/214346/29_16_NEBI2_Session7_Ojamo_VDL.pdf

vdiv

Schiphol runs BYD “solar powered” buses between the terminal and the detached gates. Recently I had the chance to ride in one, the drivetrain was extremely loud for being electric, but the ride was smooth, got us to the plane.

Jim Whitehead

How can any car company release a public bus with bad brakes and other safety problems? (For further investigation: Did NHTSA give them a safety pass without testing?) I am glad someone caught this, before brakes failed and they killed a bus full of people.

zzzzzzzzzz

You don’t need to wait to see how these work for other agencies. LA Times had series of articles how they “work”. Pushed by political mandate regardless if they fit or not fit for purpose.

You may run them fine in more mild climate, like UK. But New Mexico?? Top stupidity to assume you can rely on some average or theoretical range when you need the range every day no matter what weather to finish the shift. And sustain it for 10 years in the future, how exactly it can work with 110 F summers?

wavelet

Brakes issues (on a public conveyance!) and electrical issues (handicap chair lock mentioned above) don’t have anything to do with the EV drivetrain, range issue or climate.
Over here, if a bus with bad brakes had been in operational use even once to carry a paying passenger, there would have been a criminal investigation, and not by municipal police.

louie

Made in China

eject

Nope. Those busses are made in the USA.

windbourne

no. They are made in CHina. They are assembled in America. The poor designs and inability to deal with heat/cold for any distance combined with inability to handle hills speaks volume.

Vexar

“The electric handicap chair lock becomes unsecure when the driver turns on the air conditioner.”

What the? How is that even a possibility? This bus sounds like a Ford Pinto.

Dav8or

You don’t know anything about the Ford Pinto, but I guess it sounded cool.

wavelet

It turned out years later that the Pinto was no more of a fire hazard than other vehicles of the time — same rates of fuel tanks catching fire.
Anyway, sounds like the (non-traction) electrical system is underspecced, sorta like in an underspecced apartment the A/C motor starting can cause the lights to flicker.

Alex

I don’t want to criticize too fast. But I think Chinese vehicles are not there yet for some more demanding markets.

Else

Time to call Elon to the rescue!

Foersom

Rather call Irizar they have electric 18 m articulated buses.

Sustainable2020

Go ahead n try to polish that fossil fuel terd Albuquerque.

Try the 60 ft bus from North America’s newflyer.com. Range is 260 miles on a single charge but with the on-route rapid charger that bus could practically provide unlimited range, it’s worth checking out.

amt

“Clean Diesel” Is An Oxymoron., Because No Such Thing Exists ! …… * 🙁

eferg

Wonder what it would take for Tesla to apply their semi-truck technology to making a bus? Or perhaps their vision of the future is using smaller EVs for public transportation, i.e. Boring Co.

rey

Tesla should partner with a Bus manufacturer, Provide the drivetrain like the batteries and traction motors and controls.

Dave100e

In Europe buses are still coach built, in that a chassis is built and then shipped off to have a body installed by a different company. I imagine a similar thing happens in the US too. There’s no reason Tesla couldn’t do this.

Windbourne

nope. In America for proterra at least, 1 company does it all, though they will grab parts from elsewhere.

ed stein

Hate to say this but it’s the same as buying a chinese power tool at Harbor Freight. You’re lucky if it lasts more than 10 minutes. Tried buying a grinder and drill and got only a few uses until they died. Sooner or later the chinese are going to have wake up. Even their Ebike batteries are prone to starting on fire. I would never charge chinese lithium cells in my home. Japanese or US made only.

Hauer

Haha.
What phone are you using?

wavelet

There are plenty of Chinese quality products… Many high end phones, including iPhones, are made in China. Ditto, some of the Li-Ion batteries from the top brands (Samsung, LG, Sony) are made in China — it depends where you buy them and realizing that if a price is too good to be true, it probably is. That goes doubly for buying off eBay from a seller who isn’t a well known retailer/wholesaler otherwise.

Windbourne

being made in china is NOT the issue. It is being made anywhere, but a company that cares enough to engineer it, and then spend the money on the manufacturing as well.
Chinese companies are well known for taking shortcuts. Western companies that sub out to Chinese companies are suspect at best, and generally have the same junk. Western companies that simply moved to china with manufacturing typically kept high quality going.

wavelet

Whole story is interesting. BYD is one of the main suppliers for the huge, 16000 electric bus fleet in Shenzhen. I can’t believe they’re all trash there or there would have been stories about it.
However, quite oddly, I haven’t been able to find any report/story, at least in English, with any details about that fleet:
What are the bus specs, daily distances, how they recharge, operational reliability, when they expect it to pay for itself vs. conventional diesel, whether passengers and transport authorities are happy etc.

All I can find is mention that the huge fleet exists, and lamentations why developed-world fleets are lagging. Anyone know of more details, please post; it would seem like a pretty vital case study.

Windbourne

chinese busses have had multiple fires on them and that includes the BYDs with their Li-iron. Obviously, the battery did not catch fire, but other issues.

Chris Hansen

China quality™
Why so much upset? This was clearly expected.

Dave100e

One thing in the article stands out to me. It’s the part about the rear brakes not working but the fronts are. On air braked buses, coaches and HGV’s the rear brakes use a combined brake chamber for the primary and secondary brakes (secondary being a park or handbrake, but is considered an emergency brake on large vehicles). It works the opposite to what you would expect, so when you release the handbrake it actually applies air pressure against a spring to release the brakes. When you brake it allows air pressure onto the other side on the diaphragm and allows the spring to extend a little, applying the pads/shoes via a lever. If you remove the air pressure the spring locks the brakes back on. This is a critical safety feature for all large vehicles and has been an industry standard for 4 or 5 decades now. It’s a guaranteed fail safe against losing your brakes.

This leaves us with two alternatives to this story. Either what the city says is absolute BS, or BYD is incapable of making a safe vehicle.

Will

Flyer makes electric buses

Windbourne

yes, but will they cut corners in the making and then charge dirt cheap?
That is how the chinese companies do it.

Al D

HFC is the way to go in large vehicles like buses and semis. Until the hydrogen infrastructure is in place, natural gas will do.

Ed Meldon

This is stupidity on the City of Albuquerque’s part. They are wasting taxpayers money because they want a custom-made bus. The design they are coming up with is apparently not feasible since so many other manufacturers have told them so. The taxpayers should vote them all out and get the next government to do the right thing and buy a standard electric bus design for the best price/performance.

specialgreen

I don’t understand the “buses didn’t stop when emergency doors open.” Do diesel buses jam on the brakes when a passenger operates an emergency exit device? Also, the distance seems unusual. The CTA operates 1,781 buses (2011 statistics) and buses travel 145,832 miles in a day, or 81 miles per bus per day. 175 miles should be more than adequate for most metro bus systems. Maybe Albaquerque has unusual needs. I think it’s fair to say that E-buses could be used for many, maybe even most city bus routes, but certainly not all. Hint to cities: put your first e-buses on your shortest routes with the most stop-and-go or idling. You can use the freed-up diesel buses for longer suburban routes. Don’t make the learning curve harder than it needs to be.

specialgreen

It sounds like there are some “newby” EV manufacturer/customer mistakes: advertising the 100%-to-0% range instead of 80%-to-20% range; customers not understanding that A/C and/or heat can cut range by 50%. Give an EV to a driver who’s never heard of EVs, who has no interest in changing driving behavior, and you’re sure to have some problems.

TJKR

Anyone who is thinking about buying a car (or Bus) from China, please watch this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1At2H-lIJog

Derek

Cheap Chinese junk.
Should’ve went with Proterra’s 40ft long CaTtlyst E2 Series, range is what they wanted…only drawback is its 40ft and not 60ft.

Robert

Clean diesel. Biodiesel from French fry pits? Not enough to run a modern fleet on. EV’s are the future. Expect to have hiccups like this along the way. Used to live in Albq. sorry it didn’t work out. Albq. is in a Valley and captures all the pollution especially in the winter with all the wood being burned. Clean petro diesel is like clean coal largely a myth. For Albq. and much of the country EV’s powered by solar is the way to go.