They need to install a beeper on the bus or some kind of artificial noise.
I'm guessing many kids, like myself used the distant sound of the school bus stopping and starting as a final-call alarm clock letting you know that you really need to get your arse out of bed!!!
4th November, 2013 @ 3:46 p.m. (California Time)
A good idea - but built on an old technology platform, this is a missed opportunity. To fully utilize the benefits of electric drive, the vehicle should be made both from light weight materials and with a modern aerodynamic body. This is the equivalent of a motorized horseless carriage. Here in Europe, this style of design disappeared in the early 90s.
5th November, 2013 @ 1:19 a.m. (California Time)
This will be interesting to see how it works out. I wonder if they have things like A/C or heat and what that does for the over all service life of the battery packs and how that will off set the fuel use? Not against this just curios how it'll work out in real life? :-)
5th November, 2013 @ 3:27 a.m. (California Time)
normal cost of the same size school bus?
cost of the electric school bus?
lifetime of both school buses?
lifetime of the batteries?
feed it all in and see if they are cost effective. something that both the schools and gizmag should be doing to give us readers a complete story instead of a blurb.
i'm all for cutting pollution, cutting petroleum use, but give us a report please.
5th November, 2013 @ 7:49 a.m. (California Time)
Did you know that some school busses have an exhaust pipe on the bottom passenger side, blowing poisonous fumes right into children's faces?
Same for many pickup trucks who adopted the right side pipe from the race track.
I knew an engineering prof at Munich Technical University who was fond of saying that every other engineer ought to be lined up and shot. He has a point.
5th November, 2013 @ 8:57 a.m. (California Time)
The hydrocarbon fuel not bought at a pump is not a true measure of the operating savings, or even if there are savings. Questions:
1. What is the cost of the electricity used to charge the buses?
What kind of fuel is used to produce that electricity?
Do the electric vehicles cost more than the gasoline vehicles, and if so how much more and how much more per mile traveled?
What are the comparative costs of battery replacements and handling and maintenance compared to maintenance costs of gasoline or diesel bus?
What are the costs of any subsidies received by the buses?
So far the only message of this story is that California is using electric school buses. Is it another politically correct money hole for the state or a true economy?
5th November, 2013 @ 9:04 a.m. (California Time)
Combining this design with wireless charging stations at intervals would extend the range of the buses and provide additional incentives for other vehicles to adopt the technology.
5th November, 2013 @ 9:10 a.m. (California Time)
So, how much more does each bus cost, (opposed to conventional fuel powered buses), and what does it cost for equipment and electricity each day to re-charge each bus? Given the life expectancy of each bus, which one is more efficient?
5th November, 2013 @ 9:34 a.m. (California Time)
I find it interesting that they tell us the fuel savings per year per bus, but not the cost of the bus. How many years before the new buses break even and start making money for the district? Ok, to be fair, let's look at the cost differential between new petroleum powered buses and the new battery operated ones.
Of course, heat and air aren't as important in California, but how are these buses going to fare in the rest of the country? Even though kids make good space heaters, I seriously doubt we want to rely on that for, say, a Minnesota winter.
5th November, 2013 @ 10:01 a.m. (California Time)
School is canceled because somebody threw a crowbar into the substation and the buses still have dead batteries.
5th November, 2013 @ 10:07 a.m. (California Time)
Agree with Niklas. Why does the U.S. continue to make school bus improvements on old, ugly platforms? Lol, this is the 21st century.
Congrats to Kings Canyon Unified, though. Hope this new creation also comes with air conditioning, considering how hot it gets in the Central Valley of California, as well as the strobe light that can be turned on during the early morning hours of the treacherous, Tule Fog, that creates dangerous situations of almost zero-like visibility.
5th November, 2013 @ 10:08 a.m. (California Time)
Frees America from the Chinese loans to pay for foreign oil system in place today - add that factor into the cost, and realize, even in the worst of times, the sun will still shine, make electricity and carry the kids to school.
5th November, 2013 @ 12:32 p.m. (California Time)
The larger savings might be in a cleaner environment for our children who are around the bus scene. Less illness? Less noise? And healthier children will be--probably--better citizens, creators, parents. The change to electric just might result in cures to illnesses through the children's better lives.
5th November, 2013 @ 1:35 p.m. (California Time)
In a world where fuel oil has peaked, this is a great story. In the US, we don't pay the real cost for fuel. Even the worst electrical generating facility is more efficient than the best bus motor, gas or diesel. And the electric motor has so fewer parts to maintain. Thanks for posting this article, and looking forward to many more.
Jeff in PT
5th November, 2013 @ 5:25 p.m. (California Time)
@ Jeff in PT
The doom and gloom including peak oil predictions have all failed to materialize. however switching the buses to methane (natural gas) would be pleasant.
6th November, 2013 @ 1:17 p.m. (California Time)
Apparently the peak has been delayed by ruining your fresh water with fracking. Natural gas makes sense but might not get a grant.
6th November, 2013 @ 6:16 p.m. (California Time)
This is one of the more sensible applications for electric vehicles. School buses tend to be constantly accelerating and stopping which lends itself to gains in efficiency through regenerative braking. Also, for the most part, after they have done their route they will go back to the charging station for several hours before having to go back into service for a relatively short route.
Now let's get some electric postal delivery vehicles.
7th November, 2013 @ 11:53 a.m. (California Time)
Apparently oil companies are not greedy enough to make sure that none of their oil escapes.
7th November, 2013 @ 11:56 a.m. (California Time)
"lining people up and shooting them" advocated in Germany ? What year was this?
8th November, 2013 @ 3:30 a.m. (California Time)