Bus Conversions - a Reality

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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Bus Conversions - a Reality

Post by Tongans101 » Wed, 04 Oct 2017, 10:30

Hi All.
I thought I would posy my first topic and base it on converting Diesel Buses to Electric. I already have a company set up and have some great components to do the conversions. the only thing missing is the assistance of the Government of Australia to help with what regulations I need to follow and how to make sure my still registered bus can run on the road again after conversion. I can make sure all ADR's are met and I can follow UNECE 100 and VSB NCOP14. But where on earth or even just on the web can I find out what I actually need to do?? Does anyone know? I've tried NHVR and they did not seem to know, I tried RMS and they said I needed to talk to RVCS and so I did and they could not help as there are no ASNZ standards yet and no specific ADR's relating to EV's.

Do I need to register with RVCS as a manufacturer and therefore get an RVD for a vehicle which is already Approved except I will be swapping out the Diesel for Electric power?

can anyone shed any light on this??

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Re: Bus Conversions - a Reality

Post by antiscab » Fri, 06 Oct 2017, 00:23

I don't think anyone really knows.

Might be a bit like blade electric vehicles, where the first few are treated as conversions, and then after that you have to compliance as a second stage manufacturer
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Re: Bus Conversions - a Reality

Post by reecho » Sun, 08 Oct 2017, 16:26

Conversions just need to follow NCOP14 and be certified by an engineer. I presume they are not new if you are pulling out diesels in the first instance...

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Re: Bus Conversions - a Reality

Post by T1 Terry » Sun, 22 Oct 2017, 09:07

First step, find an engineer who understands what you are attempting to do and has the power/authority to write the required engineers report for the conversion. It is a conversion because it was originally registered with an ICE propulsion unit and you wish to change it to a battery/electric propulsion unit.
A bus is classed as a heavy vehicle so lots of things are much easier as far as engineering goes than a light vehicle, the chassis already has all the strength required so building battery boxes and motor cradles is fairly straight forward. Weight is far less of an issue as far as rego, just an issue as far as energy storage requirements.
In my case I plan to keep a small diesel engine coupled to a generator that can provide some of the energy requirements. If the Alison Hybrid gearbox wasn't so expensive I'd probably go that way but reprogram it for priority EV rather than EV assist. Mine is a motorhome so solar will be part of the energy mix and recharge times will not be a critical issue, more a case of not getting stranded in the middle of a city/motorway where pulling up on the side of the road for extended periods is not an option with an 11mtr vehicle towing a Kombi. 3.7kW of solar will fit on the roof of an 11mtr bus but that only gives 18.5kWh of battery charging on a good day so a recharge on a fully depleted 150kWh battery pack would take 8 days, a diesel generator is a must have item as far as I can see.
This then makes it a diesel/electric drive and hybrid drives are an already an accepted and encouraged shift for the transport system so assistance would be much easier to get at all levels...... worth thinking about

T1 Terry

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