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TTC going diesel again after hybrid bus glitch

 
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TTCBusbabe



Age: 55
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject: TTC going diesel again after hybrid bus glitch Reply with quote

Oct 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Tess Kalinowski
Transportation reporter

The TTC is going back to buying diesel buses because the batteries on its newer hybrid diesel-electric models are proving too "hit and miss."

An existing order for 130 hybrids next year will go ahead, but next week TTC staff will recommend the commission approve a $61 million order for "clean diesel" buses in 2010.

The remaining 2009 hybrids will be delivered with Chrysler's new lithium-ion batteries rather than the lead-acid cells already in use on the TTC fleet. The TTC wants to test the newer batteries but isn't prepared to commit to that technology, said spokesperson Brad Ross, who didn't rule out the possibility of trying hybrids again after the 2010 order.

Much of the financing for the new buses came from Ottawa, which gave the TTC $303.5 million last March enough to buy almost 700 of the new hybrids. Heavily touted at the time were the reputed environmental benefits 37 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, 30-50 per cent fewer emissions of harmful particulates, nitrous oxide emissions cut by 30 to 50 per cent and 20 to 30 per cent less fuel. There will be 564 hybrids on Toronto streets by the end of the year, about one-third of the TTC's 1,700-vehicle fleet.

"We have to have a bus that we can rely on," said Ross. "The batteries are dying much sooner than they ought to."

Batteries that should be lasting five years are surviving only about 18 months, which affects service because those buses have to come off the road for repairs, he said.

The hybrids have also failed to live up to projected fuel savings because the technology is most beneficial in stop-and-go downtown traffic and there are a limited number of such routes, Ross said. Many TTC routes operate in less busy residential neighbourhoods.

It was hoped the hybrid buses would save 20 to 30 per cent on fuel but they are achieving only about a 10 per cent saving, he said.

The TTC will save about $24 million by ordering diesel rather than hybrid because diesel buses cost about $200,000 less than the $700,000 hybrid models, he added.

The hybrid buses entered service here last December, making the TTC the first Canadian transit service to embrace the new technology in a big way. While BC Transit, Edmonton and Ottawa have a few units in service, the TTC said at the time of the roll-out that it believed it was the first transit company in Canada undertaking to create hybrids in its fleet.

The buses now on the road were built by Daimler-owned Orion Bus. The integrated chassis/body structure of each bus is assembled at Orion's Mississauga factory, then shipped to the Oriskany, N.Y., plant, where seating, engines, transmissions, axles, electrical, heating and air conditioning is added.
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Cyberider




Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 497
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not too surprising news. Good thing we have "clean Diesel" now! Laughing

Looks like it cost TTC a lot of "green" to go "green" with something that didn't live up to it's promises. If it's like down here, "green" has more to do with money than it does the environment.

Good to see you here, TTCBusbabe!
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TTCBusbabe



Age: 55
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Cyber, glad to be back. On May 18th my Mum was diagnosed stage 4 Lung cancer, she fought a courageous battle and lost on Sept. 1st. She was my best friend, thats why I havent been here. She is greatly missed, she donated herself to science to help others..God bless her. Been busy helping Dad now.
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TTCBusbabe



Age: 55
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New deal for 120 diesel Daimler buses delayed until problems with hybrid 'lemons' resolved

Oct 24, 2008 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (23)
Tess Kalinowski
Transportation reporter

The Toronto Transit Commission plans to delay ordering $61 million worth of diesel buses from a company whose previously purchased hybrid diesel-electrics have turned out to be lemons.

The TTC has already ordered 130 more hybrids for next year from Daimler Buses North America Ltd.

But the batteries on the Daimler hybrids already on Toronto streets are lasting about 18 months, far short of the anticipated five years, and the fuel savings have been only one-third what was projected.

Regrets about the decision to go hybrid have prompted the TTC to return to buying "clean" diesel buses in 2010.

But yesterday, councillors on the transit commission decided to delay placing a new order for 120 diesels from Daimler until the battery issue is resolved. The TTC wants to see whether the standing hybrid order could be replaced with diesels.

TTC staff got the go-ahead to consider ordering diesels from another company, possibly New Flyer, second bidder on the original 2004 contract.

Long-standing problems with the current hybrids have come to the point where the TTC is having trouble putting enough of them on the road, said chief general manager Gary Webster.

Neither Daimler nor the TTC know why the batteries are failing. Most problems occur while the buses are off-road, but there have been battery failures on the street.

"We have had many more failures than that, and we work through the night to replace cells on the battery pack to meet service the following day," Webster said.

Buying diesel buses in 2010 will make the fleet more reliable and save about $24 million initially because each hybrid costs about $200,000 more than a diesel.

But it's not clear what the switch might cost, because one-third of the funding comes from the federal government, which stipulated hybrids. That condition will apply until 2010, so the TTC may have to forgo the federal money for next year.

TTC chair Adam Giambrone said the hybrids continue to travel Toronto streets. "It's not that they're not working, they're not working up to our levels," he said.

If the TTC hadn't complied with the federal stipulation to order hybrids, it wouldn't have had the money to renew its aging fleet.

"I think the technology is probably there; it's just not coming to the table as fast as we want them to," said commissioner and councillor Bill Sandercook.

At the time the hybrids were purchased, the TTC relied mainly on the experience of New York City. As it turns out, New York buses experience more stop-and-go traffic, in which hybrids are most fuel-efficient.

The TTC still wants to experiment with Daimler's new lithium-ion batteries to see if they function better than the lead-acid models. Toronto will have five of the lithium-ion buses for testing by the end of the year, Webster said.

Comments:
http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/523690#Comments
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Cyberider




Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 497
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TTCBusbabe wrote:
Thanks Cyber, glad to be back. On May 18th my Mum was diagnosed stage 4 Lung cancer, she fought a courageous battle and lost on Sept. 1st. She was my best friend, thats why I havent been here. She is greatly missed, she donated herself to science to help others..God bless her. Been busy helping Dad now.


Sorry to hear about your Mum, Busbabe. Sad Hope you and your Dad are managing. God bless you all.
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TTCBusbabe



Age: 55
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Wink
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear of your loss - I know myself how difficult it is to lose a parent.
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TTCBusbabe



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink Thanks
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TTC has reached a settlement with Daimler/Orion on the hybrid bus battery issues:

- Orion will replace the current lead acid batteries with newer Lithium-Ion batteries on the existing 559 hybrid buses.

- TTC will continue with the existing awarded orders to Orion for 130 Lithium-Ion hybrid buses for delivery in 2009 and 120 clean diesel buses for delivery in 2010. The main concern was the inability to obtain replacement buses fast enough from other suppliers if the Orion orders were cancelled.

- TTC will also overhaul 52 of its GM New Look buses for 2 to 3 years continued use to ensure that it has sufficient buses to meet expanded service requirements over the next several years.

The Commission document is here - http://www.ttc.ca/postings/gso-comrpt/documents/report/f3777/Hybrid-Diesel_Bus_Negotiation_Settlement.pdf
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ripta42
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Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
- TTC will also overhaul 52 of its GM New Look buses for 2 to 3 years continued use to ensure that it has sufficient buses to meet expanded service requirements over the next several years.


Whoa!

Is TTC still running hybrids on express routes, or have they finally started putting them on high-turnover local routes?
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TTCBusbabe



Age: 55
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are all over, the BIG problem is..our stops are to close to each other..not enuff time to regenerate the batteries from what I'm told?..Spoiled passengers.. Sad
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