Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quick Charge, whisper smooth ride, no rails

The main problem with electric buses is they are so quiet they sneak up behind you and you don't even notice!

Imagine one of the new technologies coming up behind Bob Parker while he is busy down on his hands and knees concreting in the city's new light rail system at $10 million per kilometre [and the rest].

The first thing Bob knows is when the bus horn goes toot toot." He just about jumps out of his skin "Come on Bob get out of the way of progress" yells the driver with a big grin.

This lovely retro mag cover above celebrated a Swiss bus system that tried to do the rechargement bit using traditional batteries and a flywheel, way back in the 1950s. As usual technology moves in leaps and bounds, a scientific pattern better known to every kid as leapfrog. It needs all the bits to come together to make the next jump forward. Quantitive research and testing, sometimes spanning decades, in a moment can join the dots to become a quality shift. Back in 1954 the bits hadn't quite come together!

Modern technology is delivering far more, far faster and far more reliably - this includes the internet which has given us the miracles of NZ in Tranzit (thank you, thank you, we love you all!), the excellent blog site from which I nicked this image and extremely rapid evolution of bus technology.

Blogster Pierre Langlois (Green Transport and Energy) based in Quebec says it all much better than me, common sense and technology beautifully written and with a snapshot description and image of the new Proterra EcoRide BE35 - an ALL electric bus that needs neither overhead rails or wires and recharges in only 10 minutes. That's about the time it takes city bus drivers - who incidentally don't get morning and afternoon tea-breaks (at least in NZ) - to scan read the morning newspaper in their few minutes of recovery time at the terminus.

You can also avoid going into that seedy continuous screenings cinema, The Yube (I hear the owner has this thing about rolling Jaffas), no need to lurch over to the side bar (hic!) - go cleanly and greenly direct to GreenTech Media website where there's a news item and a YouTube about the Proterra.

Toot toot.

If we read between the lines.

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