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Old 3rd January 2017, 13:44   #16
Failed Unit
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Why would they - where is the significant benefit over more standard buses ?
That was where i was driving at with the question. If any company could buy it and they have decided it isn't worth it for their business the product has an issue. If it was something special then I am sure they would have appeared in other large cities.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:51   #17
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The bus is fundamentally flawed from a business point of view. Look at the weight plate, most are over 12 tonnes, far heavier than other double deckers and more kerb weight means a lower passenger capacity.

Which bus company would pay 50% more for a bus with questionable reliability to carry fewer revenue earners?!

A few years ago First touted them for Leeds, they were never going to happen, it was just a ruse because the trolleybus was seen as a potential threat.

First now have lots of shiny new bog standard Wright buses serving Leeds!!
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:53   #18
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That was where i was driving at with the question. If any company could buy it and they have decided it isn't worth it for their business the product has an issue. If it was something special then I am sure they would have appeared in other large cities.
Indeed.

A couple went round the world on promotional duties but none have been ordered by anyone but TfL. First Leeds asserted they were thinking of buying some, but this was in an offensive against the planned trolleybuses and they were looking for public funds to help buy and staff them. Although the trolleybus has been cancelled there's been no sign of any orders from them.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 21:27   #19
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I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that gradual withdrawal of these buses will start next year, not for ideological reasons but because they're not fit for purpose. Other than the EL routes around Barking all of these buses have been/ will be allocated to Central London routes, and these are planned to be reduced significantly in the next year or two. For London bus transport historians, this will invoke memories of the RT class, 4825 in number (plus 1631 RTLs and 500 RTWs) where earlier members of the class were withdrawn before the last few hundred were introduced, as London Transport had overordered before the withdrawal of petrol rationing led to an upsurge in car ownership.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 21:40   #20
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That was where i was driving at with the question. If any company could buy it and they have decided it isn't worth it for their business the product has an issue. If it was something special then I am sure they would have appeared in other large cities.
Stagecoach ran a couple of them between Dundee and Arbroath, introduced with much fanfare, but quietly sent back to London after a number of breakdowns.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:25   #21
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I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that gradual withdrawal of these buses will start next year, not for ideological reasons but because they're not fit for purpose. Other than the EL routes around Barking all of these buses have been/ will be allocated to Central London routes, and these are planned to be reduced significantly in the next year or two. For London bus transport historians, this will invoke memories of the RT class, 4825 in number (plus 1631 RTLs and 500 RTWs) where earlier members of the class were withdrawn before the last few hundred were introduced, as London Transport had overordered before the withdrawal of petrol rationing led to an upsurge in car ownership.
In what way are they "not fit for purpose"? You can argue until the cows come home about whether you *like* them or not, but as buses they do the job reasonably well, particularly now opening windows (proper ones, too, not hoppers) have been fitted.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:37   #22
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In what way are they "not fit for purpose"? You can argue until the cows come home about whether you *like* them or not, but as buses they do the job reasonably well, particularly now opening windows (proper ones, too, not hoppers) have been fitted.
Hybrid technology that doesn't work effectively so they're essentially diesel vehicles?
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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:40   #23
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Hybrid technology that doesn't work effectively so they're essentially diesel vehicles?
That might hasten their replacement a bit, but given the number of other similar hybrids and diesel vehicles in use it hardly makes them not fit for purpose.

With new bodies a replacement driveline may also be cheaper than new buses.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:47   #24
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That might hasten their replacement a bit, but given the number of other similar hybrids and diesel vehicles in use it hardly makes them not fit for purpose.

With new bodies a replacement driveline may also be cheaper than new buses.
No - the batteries don't work, had to be replaced under warranty, and are still causing issues. Hence, they are not fit for purpose.

Other hybrids work fine; these don't. A reflection on a rushed design process to meet a politically driven timescale?
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Old 4th January 2017, 01:41   #25
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I wonder what will happen to these after they are withdrawn. I hope they don't end up languishing in a quarry in Malta before unsuccessful attempts to flog them to Sudan!
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Old 4th January 2017, 02:43   #26
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It is highly unlikely that we will see large scale deliveries of battery electric buses in London any time soon.
It will require huge capital investment in 33kV feeders to bus depots and such for charging.
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Old 4th January 2017, 10:45   #27
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No - the batteries don't work, had to be replaced under warranty, and are still causing issues. Hence, they are not fit for purpose.

Other hybrids work fine; these don't. A reflection on a rushed design process to meet a politically driven timescale?
There is an intriguing, wider, question about hybrid technologies. Certainly, other hybrids work fine; but do they work quite fine enough?

Specifically, the aspiration of Green Bus Fund was that kickstarting the market for hybrid buses with public support for initial orders would bring down unit costs to a level where they would be competitive with non-hybrid buses complying with Euro 6 standards. The extra cost of hybrid installation would be outweighed by fuel savings in urban bus running.

My impression - though I am happy to be corrected by those with better information - is that this has not been achieved; and is now unlikely to be achieved unless diesel fuel becomes much more expensive. Operators will continue only to buy hybrids if they are paid to do so.

If so, then hybrid technology for buses is beginning to look like a dead end. Which in turn implies the same for the New Routemaster. Three doors and two staircases results in a bus that is too long and heavy with severely contrained passenger capacity. Operated as a straight diesel, they would be uneconomic compared to standard double-deck models; and they are too heavy for alternative fuel technologies - fuel cells, batteries.

Those alternatives, or course, will likely too always require public subsidy towards their purchase price; to be justified if health and environmental benefits of diesel-free urban air may be maintained. My view though, is that the price premiums for battery and fuel cell technolgies will be such as to preclude public authorties from simply handing money over to bus operators. Instead we will see a tram-like operating model in which diesel-free urban units are publically purchased, and likely publicly owned; with operators bidding for franchises.

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Old 4th January 2017, 12:18   #28
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In what way are they "not fit for purpose"? You can argue until the cows come home about whether you *like* them or not, but as buses they do the job reasonably well, particularly now opening windows (proper ones, too, not hoppers) have been fitted.
There are many routes in London where they cannot operate because the wheelbase is too long, the C2 being the most notable example. The air cooling system doesn't work, requiring modified windows. The rear platform isn't appropriate, requiring a re-designed rear door that opens outwards not inwards. The hybrid system doesn't work very well, requiring replacement batteries, and uses a system that is largely obsolete. The claimed fuel efficiency never happened because the third door and second staircase added too much weight.

I wouldn't be so harsh as to say they are "unfit for purpose"- they work as buses- but they are more expensive and less useful than hybrid double deckers from other manufacturers. They don't do anything that a E400H doesn't do for 100,000 less.

As for the "sunk cost fallacy", Khan hasn't cancelled existing orders, he has simply not exercised the option for more of them. Buying more would bring the unit price down, but would still be chucking good money after bad money. Save the cash and buy some E400H MMC City buses.
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Old 4th January 2017, 18:47   #29
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There are many routes in London where they cannot operate because the wheelbase is too long, the C2 being the most notable example. The air cooling system doesn't work, requiring modified windows. The rear platform isn't appropriate, requiring a re-designed rear door that opens outwards not inwards. The hybrid system doesn't work very well, requiring replacement batteries, and uses a system that is largely obsolete. The claimed fuel efficiency never happened because the third door and second staircase added too much weight.

I wouldn't be so harsh as to say they are "unfit for purpose"- they work as buses- but they are more expensive and less useful than hybrid double deckers from other manufacturers. They don't do anything that a E400H doesn't do for 100,000 less.

As for the "sunk cost fallacy", Khan hasn't cancelled existing orders, he has simply not exercised the option for more of them. Buying more would bring the unit price down, but would still be chucking good money after bad money. Save the cash and buy some E400H MMC City buses.
I agree that it was a bit too strong to say they are 'unfit for purpose' but I was exaggerating in order to make a point. I don't believe there will be anything like a thousand in use in two years time, and probably none in five years time.
At the knock-down price they'll have to sell them for, Ensign or whoever may be able to shift a few, but most will probably end up stored just like the majority of the bendies.
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Old 4th January 2017, 18:59   #30
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I agree that it was a bit too strong to say they are 'unfit for purpose' but I was exaggerating in order to make a point. I don't believe there will be anything like a thousand in use in two years time, and probably none in five years time.
At the knock-down price they'll have to sell them for, Ensign or whoever may be able to shift a few, but most will probably end up stored just like the majority of the bendies.
I don't agree with that. Most of the 1,000 Borismasters are likely to stay on London routes for another 5-10 years at least (possibly moving out to inner suburban services). They may, of course, need some further modifications to enable that to happen.

There will be next to no market for them outside TfL-land.
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