Electric School Bus

by R Fagundo
(West Virginia)

I have been looking at investing in a retired school bus to use as an RV. My long term goal is to get off of fossil fuels to run my rig and converting the bus to electric is the way to go in my mind. However I am having problems find how big and what type of motor to try and find.

It seems I want an AC power unit, but past that I am not sure. Would it have to be run thru the transmission? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi -

There's a company called Smith Electric Vehicles that's building electric school buses (that's the company in the video up there), so it must be feasible.

Randy from Canadian Electric Vehicles says:

"There are some very large AC systems for commercial buses; the drive system is not the problem if you have the money. Siemens makes these as do others.

The problem with an RV is that you probably want to drive more than 20-30 miles before recharging which means a VERY expensive battery pack.

You are probably looking at about $25-$30K for the drive system and to get 100 miles range you would need another $50-$60K worth of lithium batteries.

Finding an RV park with enough power to recharge that overnight would also be a problem...

...the other RV'rs would not be impressed when their TV's and coffee makers went out when you plugged in.

Though the tenters would get a chuckle."

- Randy

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by: Anonymous

Why not copy train locomotive - meaning replace engine transmission literally with a locomotive traction motor, and rather than an extensive battery system, use a light turbogenerator to run continuously or near continuously during travel.

I am contemplating the "feasibility" of this as well. Supplement this with Solar cells on the roof. Particularly if you use high efficiency cells, in addition to optical magnification, to at least run your appliances, I'm pretty sure it will prove quite a savings.

At least several examples of this "street legal" locomotive already exists - walmart hybrid semi using capstone turbo gen. (no Solar array).

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