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700-series XE40 - Deliveries & Assignments


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I think you're reading too much of what went on with the 5900s into this. The conditions of each case are demonstrably different. For one thing Belcaster was found to have had stock in Ballard at the time the 5900s were getting tested. So the implication there was that Belcaster put CTA into that particular contract to line his pockets with whatever money was thought could be made in promoting the fuel cell buses. The 700s are seeing a heck of lot more coverage of routes than the 5900s did with longer hours as I've never seen 5900s on the rode in evening hours or any times after dark. And this time around CTA did say in press releases that these are permanent additions to the fleet and pretty much implied if not directly said that they'll continue to see service after the tests. So unless they're lying to the media and public, it's kind of doubtful that these buses are going to sit rotting in the South Shops boneyard. You made a similar premature leap about the 800s when the 900s dropped out of CTA service, and the 800s are still here months later with only one bus OOS and on long term hold.

Also, there isn't the b.s. with dealing with liquid hydrogen that was highlighted in the report BusHunter found.

Maybe some issue arises about rewiring the motors (apparently that for series hybrid buses) or battery life, but I doubt we are there yet. If anything, I would raise the question of paying twice as much for a bus that can be used only half the time, but the feds have already paid for these two.

An interesting sidelight: In the Car and Driver article on the Toyota Mirai (fuel cell car), there is a sidebar on Fuel-Cell Milestones, including that "1983: Geoffrey Ballard commences fuel-cell research in Canada" and "2005: Fuel-cell buses hit the road in Europe, China, and Australia." No mention of1995 in Chicago, so it must not have been that significant.

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About time these came out

Here it is guys!!! #701!!!!

This was put out the day before the buses were placed in service. If the buses still are operating on the listed runs, maybe someone at Kedzie can supply the actual times. G46-14 New Flyer Electric B

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I was on the 22 Clark bus and I saw #700 as a training bus on Clark/Birchwood

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I wonder if this means they think they've tested the buses as far as they could at Kedzie and now looking to test them at another garage that has even heavier routes. Fall pick is right around the corner after all. Next weekend is the start of that pick if I'm not mistaken, since CTA doesn't yet have notices up about Fall pick schedule updates. It would be interesting to see how these buses hold out on a route like the 22, 36 or the full length 151 runs. 

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I wonder if this means they think they've tested the buses as far as they could at Kedzie and now looking to test them at another garage that has even heavier routes. Fall pick is right around the corner after all. Next weekend is the start of that pick if I'm not mistaken, since CTA doesn't yet have notices up about Fall pick schedule updates. It would be interesting to see how these buses hold out on a route like the 22, 36 or the full length 151 runs. 

They would have to run them out of Kedzie unless they have a way to charge them somewhere else.

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They would have to run them out of Kedzie unless they have a way to charge them somewhere else.

You are right my friend. I forgot about the charging setup being different than for 800s and 4000s which K and NP are both equipped for. That leads to the question of what the heck 700 was getting used to train for at that part of Clark.

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You are right my friend. I forgot about the charging setup being different than for 800s and 4000s which K and NP are both equipped for. That leads to the question of what the heck 700 was getting used to train for at that part of Clark.

It's like saying, what the hell they were thinking??? xD

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You are right my friend. I forgot about the charging setup being different than for 800s and 4000s which K and NP are both equipped for. That leads to the question of what the heck 700 was getting used to train for at that part of Clark.

It's like saying, what the hell they were thinking??? xD

Since they always say (in this case and in the CMAQ application) it is one charger per bus, that would seem to be the case, unless they move the charger (and have the electric infrastructure somewhere else to use it).

But, since 22 ends downtown, it theoretically isn't much different than running 151 out of Kedzie, except for the mileage.

Still didn't explain what they were doing.

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Since they always say (in this case and in the CMAQ application) it is one charger per bus, that would seem to be the case, unless they move the charger (and have the electric infrastructure somewhere else to use it).

The only way that can be justifiable is having them on North Park routes. Let's see how well they manage on LSD if that ever happens but I doubt it.

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The only way that can be justifiable is having them on North Park routes. Let's see how well they manage on LSD if that ever happens but I doubt it.

While they do deadhead on the Eisenhower Expressway, I don't think they are suited for LSD routes, in that they have to consume electricity at a prodigious rate to keep up their speed. Compare that to what jajuan said about dwell time on 52 or 82, where the bus uses regenerative braking to stop and isn't running while stopped. Thus, if it has the range to do 22, that would make more sense.

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While they do deadhead on the Eisenhower Expressway, I don't think they are suited for LSD routes, in that they have to consume electricity at a prodigious rate to keep up their speed. Compare that to what jajuan said about dwell time on 52 or 82, where the bus uses regenerative braking to stop and isn't running while stopped. Thus, if it has the range to do 22, that would make more sense.

Or #36 but indeed you're right.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just read an article dated yesterday on the New Flyer site that they submitted the XE40 for Altoona tests and that the bus did well on that test and passed. The same article says that they are planning to submit an XE60 articulated model for Altoona testing early next year.

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I just read an article dated yesterday on the New Flyer site that they submitted the XE40 for Altoona tests and that the bus did well on that test and passed. The same article says that they are planning to submit an XE60 articulated model for Altoona testing early next year.

I noted that the press release didn't say anything about range. The Altoona Test Report is here and finally on page 110 it says that the range is 87.5 miles. Still would be half what BYD claims. If not topping off, page 111 says that a relatively high state of charge takes 2.5 hours.

Anyone who is an electrical engineer can have at it starting at about page 98.

There is a comparable report for the BYD bus. Page 140 states that they got 126 mile range, so not as much as BYD claimed.

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I noted that the press release didn't say anything about range. The Altoona Test Report is here and finally on page 110 it says that the range is 87.5 miles. Still would be half what BYD claims. If not topping off, page 111 says that a relatively high state of charge takes 2.5 hours.

Anyone who is an electrical engineer can have at it starting at about page 98.

There is a comparable report for the BYD bus. Page 140 states that they got 126 mile range, so not as much as BYD claimed.

On the CTA bus itself, the car cards indicate a charge time of 3-5 hours. BYD had that scandal where they were treating Chinese workers unfairly, some making only $200 a month.  Link:( http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/report/55 ) They have since opened a factory in the US, to bind with the buy america act, but that previous disclosure may have tarnished their image. Proterra has introduced an extended range bus this year, does 180 miles, so no doubt the competitors will soon follow with other extended range buses.

http://www.proterra.com/proterra-introduces-extended-range-electric-bus-flexible-battery-system/

BTW, I notice CTA #700's are running the #82 now every weekday it seems. I saw one last Friday for the first time and also I saw one yesterday, so I think I've seen them now every day of the week except the weekend. You can set your clock by it. It always gets to the belmont/blue line around 6:30 PM

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...Proterra has introduced an extended range bus this year, does 180 miles, so no doubt the competitors will soon follow with other extended range buses.

http://www.proterra.com/proterra-introduces-extended-range-electric-bus-flexible-battery-system/

Interesting there is that Proterra says that its "battery systems are compatible with Proterra’s on-route and in-depot chargers," The video in Jay Leno's Garage, and the NF information about the buses in Winnipeg demonstrated on route chargers, which the Altoona testing and apparently CTA's operation relies on in depot chargers.

There is an Altoona report on the Proterra BE35.

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This time around it appears there is no set listing of routes. I guess Chicago can assign them to whatever route they want. However, it appears that Route 82 is getting them quite often.

This and 700 are both Kedzie buses, not Chicago.

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I just read an article dated yesterday on the New Flyer site that they submitted the XE40 for Altoona tests and that the bus did well on that test and passed. The same article says that they are planning to submit an XE60 articulated model for Altoona testing early next year.

 

I noted that the press release didn't say anything about range. The Altoona Test Report is here and finally on page 110 it says that the range is 87.5 miles. Still would be half what BYD claims. If not topping off, page 111 says that a relatively high state of charge takes 2.5 hours.

Anyone who is an electrical engineer can have at it starting at about page 98.

There is a comparable report for the BYD bus. Page 140 states that they got 126 mile range, so not as much as BYD claimed.

This shows the infancy for all-Electric Buses here in the U.S. They've just completed Altoona tests for the XE40 and are now submitting an XE60 model for Altoona next year. That would be one big reason why CTA is not yet procuring any all-Electric buses. For the foreseeable future, they'll be either Clean Diesel or Diesel/Electric Hybrids. Maybe about 5+ years in the future, if the all-Electric buses continue to show promise.

CTA was bit once by buses that failed the Altoona testing in 2003-2004, I don't think they'll be so quick to jump into ones just getting tested quite so soon again(except for a small trial order).

 

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This shows the infancy for all-Electric Buses here in the U.S. They've just completed Altoona tests for the XE40 and are now submitting an XE60 model for Altoona next year. That would be one big reason why CTA is not yet procuring any all-Electric buses. For the foreseeable future, they'll be either Clean Diesel or Diesel/Electric Hybrids. Maybe about 5+ years in the future, if the all-Electric buses continue to show promise.

CTA was bit once by buses that failed the Altoona testing in 2003-2004, I don't think they'll be so quick to jump into ones just getting tested quite so soon again(except for a small trial order).

 

  • For the foreseeable future they will be the 125 Novas and maybe 25 more Novas, and nothing else for the duration of the 5 year capital plan. The application for the electric bus was for 2019.
  • I didn't go through the whole report, and am sure you didn't either, but I really doubt that NF would have put out a press release that it had "exceptional performance in all categories of the Altoona Test" if it had failed. Also, "It is based on our proven Xcelsior platform that has accumulated several hundred million miles of safe and reliable service since its introduction in 2008." I brought out before that NF was concentrating its resources on that platform, when you said they were developing something else. Also, since CTA is testing two XE40s, they know what they would be getting if they pass this test and CTA gets $1.2 million per bus from heaven to order more.
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  • For the foreseeable future they will be the 125 Novas and maybe 25 more Novas, and nothing else for the duration of the 5 year capital plan. The application for the electric bus was for 2019.
  • I didn't go through the whole report, and am sure you didn't either, but I really doubt that NF would have put out a press release that it had "exceptional performance in all categories of the Altoona Test" if it had failed. Also, "It is based on our proven Xcelsior platform that has accumulated several hundred million miles of safe and reliable service since its introduction in 2008." I brought out before that NF was concentrating its resources on that platform, when you said they were developing something else. Also, since CTA is testing two XE40s, they know what they would be getting if they pass this test and CTA gets $1.2 million per bus from heaven to order more.

Just a quick glance(I'm don't really have time to go through such a large document page by page), but I read enough that there were some issues, mechanically-wise speaking with the test bus. The test bus didn't encounter what are mentioned as Class 1 or 2 Failures, but 12 Class 3 Failures and 9 Class 4 Failures. Class 3 is a failure requiring removal of bus from service and Class 4 is when bus can continue on it's assigned route, but is "Degraded". Failure will be reported by driver.

Breakdown of breakdowns:

4 "Class 4" for Suspension

6 "Class 3" for Suspension

1 "Class 4" for Steering

3 "Class 3" for Steering

3 "Class 4" for Drive Motor

1 "Class 4" for Brakes

1 "Class 3" for Compartments/Framework

1 "Class 3" for Electrical

1 "Class 3" for HVAC

 

Doesn't look too bad, but looks like suspension could be worked on a bit an maybe steering too. Drive motor had a few "Class 4's", but was still able to operate on a route, just in a "Degraded" state.

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