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2 More Interest in the Next Generation´s City Buses Designed Universally and Ecologically

2 More Interest in the Next Generation´s City Buses Designed Universally and Ecologically

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82



T. Nishiyama



municipalities and various bus companies are showing greater interest in applying

“Eliica” technology to city buses. Scientific societies are showing interest in

“Eliica” technology, too. As a trigger for popularizing electric cars, applying the

quality of a grand-up type of electric car to a big-sized city bus is worth noticing.



3 Development of Electric Low and Full Flat Floor Bus

(ELFB) and the Purpose of this Research

3.1



R&D’s Core Technology



The Electric Vehicle Laboratory of Keio University has been working on the

development of EVs for years. The laboratory’s basic concept is to build a dedicated platform for EVs from scratch, instead of the conversion type that involves

retrofitting an engine with a motor. This innovative design technology, called

integrated platform, stores all equipments required for operating a vehicle, such

as batteries, motors (in-wheel motors), and inverters, beneath the vehicle floor. The

application of this technology makes it possible to concurrently achieve expansion

of usable cabin space in EVs, extension of the mileage on a single charge by using

in-wheel motors, and a greater number of lithium-ion batteries, as well as improvement in universal design performance, which has a brisk demand (Fig. 1). Based on

the assumption of using the above concept, the Electric Vehicle Laboratory of Keio

University has developed a prototype ELFB (The Trial Electric Low and Full Flat

Floor Bus) (Figs. 4, 5, and 6).

Fig. 4 The front-view of

“ELFB”



Research of the Social New Transportation Service on Electric Full Flat. . .



83



Fig. 5 The rear-view of

“ELFB”



Fig. 6 The interior of

electric bus



3.2



Prototype ELFB by Keio University



Keio University has developed a prototype large sized ELFB. The development of

ELFB was pushed forward based on a framework of the industrial sector (Isuzu

Motors Limited), public sector (Kanagawa Prefecture and Kanagawa Bus Association, along its member bus companies that operate public transportation services),

and academic sector (Keio University). In the development project, Keio University

has worked on creating a practical bus by expanding the opportunities to exchange

ideas with industrial and public sectors. In manufacturing a route bus to be used as a

public transportation vehicle, it is important to construct a safe, secure, and strong

body. Aluminum and polycarbonate are used for the body in order to reduce as

much weight as possible. The newly developed direct drive in-wheel motors are

mounted on the chassis in order to achieve high-efficiency vehicle operation

without loss. The specifications of the large-size ELFB that was developed through

this project are summarized in Table 1. The major concern of bus service companies regarding ELFB is the mileage on a single charge. As the results of a field test

conducted in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan, mileage per charge



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T. Nishiyama



Table 1 Specification of the electric bus

Items

Overall width

Overall length

Overall height

Capacity

Vehicle weight

Floor height

Range / charge



Specifications

2490 mm

10,050 mm

2730 mm; 300–400 mm lower than conventional

49 persons; 21 seated and 28 standing

11,800 kg; Gloss VW, 8600 kg; Vehicle Weight

270 mm; barrier free

121 km > Average route bus range 120 km/day



was 121 km. The author of this article conducted an interview survey with 12 bus

service companies that are the members of Kanagawa Bus Association. The survey

revealed that vehicles of the member bus service companies run an average distance

of about 120 km per day between departure from and return to the bus garage.

Taking the field test results into consideration as well, it is also revealed that ELFB

has the specifications to meet most of the existing bus service requirements (vehicle

driving range required for a normal bus service and various other services provided

by bus service companies). Introducing the concept and technology of the integrated platform can lower the minimum height from ground to floor, construct a full

flat cabin, and improve the universal design performance. According to the

Kanagawa Bus Association, the fuel cost per kilometer for the existing large size

non-step bus (10.5 m overall length and 2.5 m overall width standard) is ¥38 (US

$0.47). On the other hand, the prototype ELFB of the same large size can run on ¥8

(US$0.1) per kilometer (when using nighttime electric power). In other words, a

fuel economy merit of ¥30 (US$0.38) per kilometer can be achieved by replacing

the existing non-step buses with electric ones. The route buses run a distance of

about 120 km per day and 300 days per year, which means using electric buses can

result in an annual fuel cost reduction effect of ¥1.08 million (US$13,500) per

vehicle. In addition, electric buses contain less number of components and thus,

about 50 % of the remaining running costs (mainly components-related maintenance costs) after subtracting the fuel cost from the total running cost can be

reduced from the present expenses. Calculations made based on this fact indicate

that the amount of components-related maintenance costs that can be reduced

annually is about ¥770,000 (US$9625) for a large bus. Therefore, based on the

above calculations, approximately ¥1.85 million (US$23,125) can be reduced

annually for each bus. The electric bus offers a great advantage to Japanese bus

service companies because about 80 % of them are presently operating in the red.

Furthermore, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from existing large-sized

internal combustion engine buses is 0.61 kg/km (FY2009 data of Ministry of Land,

Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). EVs do not emit carbon dioxide during

operation. EVs can reduce 90 % of carbon dioxide emissions even when emissions

during power generation are taken into consideration. In addition, EVs do not

produce any noise when they are operated. Therefore, they are better for the

environment in areas along the bus route.



Research of the Social New Transportation Service on Electric Full Flat. . .



3.3



85



The Purpose of Our Research Study



We made a demonstrated evaluation of running performance of an electric full-flat

and low-flat floor bus (ELFB) which was made as a trial bus in a project carried out

by the Ministry of Environment in fiscal year 2009. With this research in the 2013

fiscal year, the main point towards the validity and spread strategies of an electric

low and full flat bus was summarized based on the test run from the 2011 fiscal year

to the 2012 fiscal year. In this research, the following knowledge was able to be

acquired as a result. In this research, the possibility of the new public transportation

service by an electric bus is verified.



4 Experiment Run and Evaluating of “ELFB”

4.1



Progress of an Experiment Run



We performed the actual proof run of the electric full-flat floor bus (ELFB) in the

following six routes from 2011 to 2012 (Figs 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11).

Fig. 7 The scene of

ELFB’s trial run (FY2011)



Fig. 8 The scene of electric

supply by professional

drivers



86

Fig. 9 The overly rapid

electric supply machine

tried this time (ELFB

becomes full in about

30 min from SOC 50 %)



Fig. 10 Getting on and off

at a mimic bus stop



Fig. 11 The situation of the

experiment to which load

was applied in imitation



T. Nishiyama



Research of the Social New Transportation Service on Electric Full Flat. . .



87



Route A: ODAKYU Shonandai Station – Keio University, 4.0 km of one way. This

route is a bus route in an urban area and university students mainly use it for

attending the school.

Route B: JR Kamata Station – Haneda Airport, 7.0 km of one way. This route is a

bus route in an urban area and the users of Haneda Airport mainly use it for

going the airport.

Route C: JR Oomori Station – Haneda Airport, 7.5 km of one way. This route is a

bus route in an urban area and the users of Haneda Airport mainly use it for

going the airport.

Route D: JR Isogo Station – Oppama Bus Terminal, 12.7 km of one way. This route

is a bus route in a suburban area and the users of it is mainly residents along the

bus route.

Route E: ODAKYU Shonandai Station – Ayase Bus Terminal, 8.7 km of one way.

This route is a bus route in a suburban area and the users of it is mainly residents

along the bus route.

Route F: JR Tsujido Station – Ayase Bus Terminal, 14.7 km of one way. This route

is a bus route in a suburban area and the users of it is mainly residents along the

bus route.

All the above-mentioned routes are routes in which a bus company does commercial service. About operation of ELFB, we requested the professional drivers

which is always running the same route. We carried out the test run of ELFB for

10 days in each route. And we acquired and analyzed the test run data of ELFB in

all the test runs. We got 380 citizen monitors through the Internet, and got them to

test-ride ELFB and it was evaluated by the citizen monitors. The overly rapid

electric supply machine tried this time is a product of JFE engineering. ELFB

becomes full in about 30 min from SOC 50 %.

We conducted interview investigation also to the bus transit company’s management and drivers who cooperated in the actual proof run of ELFB.



4.2



A Result of the Actual Proof Run for Two Years



(1) We have confirmed that the use of electric buses in towns or cities will lead to

the reduction of a minimum of 24 % and a maximum of 49 % in carbon dioxide

in using an air conditioner system and the reduction of a minimum of 35 % and

a maximum of 52 % in carbon dioxide in not using an air conditioner system,

compared with non-electric buses.

(2) When the operation cost data of the existing bus on a regular route was

compared with the operation cost data of this electric full-flat and low-floor

bus, it has checked that the electric bus was running at cost lower 10 % than the

existing bus.

(3) In general expected earliness could be attained, and when there were about

30 min on the occasion of the rest after 1 round trip, it was able to compensate

sufficient electricity for the next employment. However, since the connector for



88



T. Nishiyama



electric supply was large and heavy, there is much voice made into a subject

and the driver showed the improvement necessity for future.

(4) When a large-sized electric full flat bus was compared with the conventional

bus, 70 % of the trial ride monitor 380 persons in the 2011 fiscal year did high

evaluation as a bus which the former takes easily. Citizens are pleased with a

full-flat floor, quietness, and the ease of riding of ELFB [4].

(5) Drivers rated electric full-flat and low-floor buses higher than non-electric

buses in present use as environmentally-friendly and barrier-free vehicles

because of much room taken within a bus. These many advantages show that

an electric full-flat and low-floor bus has easy access to other areas and

practicality. Driving interface of drivers who participated in the demonstrative

experiment was rated high.

(6) Bus companies have added that electric buses will be able to take middle or

long distance routes and to have access to higher and colder areas if technological improvements are made in butteries, motors and wheel drives. Qualitative improvement in them will promote the prevalence of electric buses in

Japan without fail. And, in Japan, we should disseminate large size EV buses

with a door in center and front and in rear and front.



5 The Interview to the Bus Transit Companies Towards

the Spread of ELFB

We held an interview to the bus transit companies towards the spread of ELFB from

October 2013 to November 2013. Concretely, we went to each bus association of

Hokkaido, Chiba Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, Kanagawa

Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture, Hiroshima Prefecture, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Okinawa Prefecture, and interviewed the bus companies. We explained the result of the

actual proof experiment. And we interviewed the ideal form of ELFB needed in bus

companies. As a result, the demand of buses with the following 2 appearance was high.

The following results became the almost same tendency as the nationwide

survey to the bus transit companies in FY 2010 under ELFB manufacture done in

our related paper.



5.1



Model A: An Urban Type of Electric Full-Flat Large Size

Bus (The Front Door – The Middle Door, an Amount

to Be Borne by a Bus Company Is 23,600,000 Yen)



Mileage on a single charge is 200 km (including electric power for air conditioners,

equipments indispensable to a one-man-operated bus and subsidiary ones). This

type of bus is designed to leave enough standing room by decreasing seats in



Research of the Social New Transportation Service on Electric Full Flat. . .



89



Fig. 12 The exterior of

large-size urban use electric

full-flat bus with a low floor

(Width ¼ 2.5 m,

Length ¼ 10.5 m,

Height ¼ 2.8 m, The frontdoor – the middle-door

type, Mileage on a single

charge is 200 km) designed

by Seijiro NODA



Fig. 13 The interior of an

large-size electric full-flat

bus with a low floor

designed by Seijiro NODA



number in order to accommodate many passengers. Moreover, to satisfy passengers’ needs it has some space for baggage. Figure 12 represents the exterior of a

model A. Figure 13 represents the interior. A large size electric full-flat non-step

bus can supply passengers with enough space for baggage, large chairs, desks, and

so on, with an integrated platform installed. Moreover, it is possible to get power

source for welfare equipments under a wheelchair. In this way this type of electric

bus which runs in cities makes it possible to combine universal design with

eco-design because of enough space.



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