Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers California Shuttle Buses

JAN 28 2015 BY MARK KANE 5

Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers Mountain View Community Shuttle Buses

Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers Mountain View Community Shuttle Buses

Motiv Power Systems, first in the U.S. to introduce an all-electric school bus and garbage truck, recently finished another project – the electric shuttle buses for the Mountain View Community in California.

In an email correspondence sent to InsideEVs, we were told the following by one of the companies involved with this project:

“These shuttles demonstrate we don’t need to design new electric vehicles from the ground up to break our reliance on fossil fuel and offer zero-emission vehicle options. Instead a modular, plug and play system works just as well, maybe better.”

Four vehicles based on the Ford E450 chassis were converted to electric drive using a Motiv Powertrain Control System (ePCS) and an Ameritrans 285 shuttle bus body.

Interesting is that the total cost of those vehicles is in-line with ICE versions, according to the press release.

“Four new all electric community shuttle buses, funded by Google in a two year pilot project, are on the road in Mountain View, California. Known as Mountain View Community Shuttles, the white and blue buses use a modular, plug and play electric powertrain technology from Motiv Power Systems. The Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) is the only product suite in the industry that electrifies truck or bus chassis as a ship-though option, using a variety of commercially-available battery packs and motors.”

“The Mountain View Community Shuttle service is aimed at moving residents and visitors through the City between neighborhoods, shopping centers, medical complexes, City facilities and recreation areas. The four electric shuttles are free to the public and are equipped with seating for 16 passengers, a wheelchair lift, space for two wheelchairs, WiFi connectivity and bicycle racks on the outside of the vehicle. The free shuttles are being made available to help residents and visitors access recreational areas. City officials hope the service will reduce drive-alone traffic, as well as help residents get around town in a loop route.”

“While the costs of the two year pilot program are supported by Google, the electrification of the shuttles was made possible through funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). CEC grants allowed the bus and service dealer, ABC Companies to purchase the batteries, as well as the electric powertrains, and provide Google zero emission shuttles for the same cost as their fossil fuel counterparts.”

“The Mountain View Community Shuttles feature a Ford E450 chassis, Motiv ePCS, and Ameritrans 285 shuttle bus body. With these shuttles, the Motiv ePCS, battery packs, and a motor were installed to replace the engine and transmission of a new incomplete chassis in a ship-through modification. This process, common in the truck and bus industry, is similar to a Compressed Natural Gas ship-through modification and allows for minimal changes between the fossil fuel and electric versions of the final vehicle. Existing truck and bus builders who already use incomplete chassis can use the Motiv ePCS product suite to build and sell electric versions of their existing truck and bus models.”

Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers Mountain View Community Shuttle Buses

Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers Mountain View Community Shuttle Buses

Meghan Casserly, Google spokesperson stated:

“We’re happy to be working with Motiv and the City of Mountain View the new electric community shuttles. We hope the shuttle system makes getting around a little easier–and greener–for all of our neighbors.”

Motiv CEO Jim Castelaz remarked:

“With these four buses, thousands of residents will get to experience firsthand what an electric bus can offer. These buses demonstrate we don’t need to design new vehicles from the ground up to break their reliance on fossil fuel and offer zero-emission vehicle options.”

Jon Savitz, Senior Vice President, Business Development of ABC Companies commented:

“We’ve been watching the development of electric buses over the past few years. Google’s commitment to clean, efficient transportation and their company wide culture of promoting new technologies, gave ABC’s Ameritrans subsidiary an opportunity to apply Motiv’s fully electric drive system to their shuttle vehicles. The Mountain View Community shuttles are the perfect showcase to apply this technology to our buses, and bring cleaner public transporation to the residents and visitors of the city.”

Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers Mountain View Community Shuttle Buses

Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers Mountain View Community Shuttle Buses

Categories: Bus


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5 Comments on "Motiv Electric Bus Technology Powers California Shuttle Buses"

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Charging time?
Top speed? đŸ™‚

This would make a great RV. Just needs some solar panels on the roof.

These buses are charged on the Google campus at night with Clipper Creek CS-100-3P EVSEs. However, the total power that buses charge at is unclear. The Clipper Creek unit can deliver up to 60kW and Motiv Power claims 60kW on-board charger, but it would be odd to have 250V L-L 3-phase service available to it.

Sorry my math is wrong above. 120Y208V 3 phase would be the most common power available, which would only yield 28.8kW at 80 amps. The Fleets & Fuels article mentions 30kW and 80 amps in places. However, the Motiv Power sheet I linked above says it takes 208V-600V 3 phase power. It’s unclear if the Clipper Creek EVSE could handle 277Y480V commercial power. At about 72 amps, that would deliver the 60kW that the Motiv Power on-board charger can take.

Another set of conflicting data: The Motiv Power sheet says 8 hours charging time and battery sizes of 80, 100, or 120 kWh. At 60kW charging power, you would think even the 120kWh battery could be charged in 4 hours, even with a lot of charge tapering.

The range of the MV Community Shuttles is roughly 100 miles. Charging time is 8 hours, and the top speed is 55 mph.