Refurbishing and converting diesel buses to electric battery power

February 11th, 2013 by Jay Leno's Garage

Jay Leno interviews Macy Neshati, VP of Complete Coach Works based in Riverside, California but with facilities in several US states.

Complete Coach Works buys old buses and refurbishes them and puts in an electric powertrain so that the all-electric bus is substantially less expensive than a brand new electric bus.

Complete Coach Works bought a 1996 American built New Flyer bus for complete reconditioning and conversion to an electric powertrain. The converted bus currently has a range of about 90 miles on a single charge (with the air conditioning on) but the company hopes to improve that to 120 miles.

Electric bus maintenance is very low. There is no need for oil changes or oil filters or coolant fluid so much less waste is produced during routine maintenance.

The braking system lasts longer because it employs regenerative braking to charge the 12 packs of lithium ion phosphate batteries, which can store 213 kWh. The batteries can be fully charged in four hours.

The bus has an air conditioning system like its diesel powered equivalent and heat pumps for the winter months.

Complete Coach Works will be working with the California Energy Commission to develop off-grid charging using solar panels.

“This is the future,” Jay Leno said. “And it’s nice to see the future integrated with the past. It’s the ultimate recycling.”

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Reproduced with kind permission of Complete Coach Works.

 

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