Attempts To Use Electric Buses In Germany Flop…”Many Disadvantages”, “Short Service Life”, “No Real Progress”

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Few places virtue signal green as much as Germany.

So not surprisingly a number of cities led by socialist/green governments have attempted to implement electric public transportation buses, declaring they are the future of clean mobility.

Electric powered buses still struggling to be successful. Image: Flixbus

But Tichy’s Einblick just recently reported on the results of attempted electric bus fleets across Germany. They are not pretty.

Electrically driven public transport by bus is still a long way off.

FlixBus suspends electric bus after “repeated technical problems”

One example, Tichy’s Einblick cites, is German intercity bus carrier FlixBus, which worked with Greenpeace to promote the electric bus on the route between Mannheim and Frankfurt as a showcase project – all accompanied by ample fanfare and slogans such as “sustainable travel” and “the mobility of the future is green”.

But last April Greenpeace reported the discontinuation of the first nationwide electric long-distance bus line: “The long-distance bus provider announced on Wednesday that there had been repeated technical problems during the pilot project between Mannheim and Frankfurt with the vehicle of a Chinese manufacturer. These problems with the bus of Chinese manufacturer BYD must have been so massive that the project was suspended.”

Tichy’s Einblick reports the “only one thing that was really sustainable about the project was the disappointment of the travelers.”

Wiesbaden: 45 million euros, only on flat routes

Tichy’s Einblick also looked at the city of Wiesbaden where city bus operator ESWE Stadtwerke ordered 56 electric buses in April of this year and the first five were to run in October, with another five to follow in November. But so far none have “made any further progress yet”.

Wiesbaden plans a total of 140 electric buses, all to be supported by 45 million euros in taxpayers’ money from the Federal Environment Ministry. Yet Tichy’s Einblick reports that only the “flat inner city stretches are to be served” and that “they do not dare to venture onto the steeper streets on the outskirts.”

Also: “A battery charge should last 150 kilometers, but less if the temperatures are freezing and the bus is full: 100 kilometers.” That would mean about 3 hours of service before a recharge becomes needed.

Nürtingen electric bus pilot “a flop”…battery 80,000 euros!

In the city of Nürtingen, “The electric bus pilot project is a flop,” says Tichy’s Einblick. “The battery on a bus was broken after two and a half years of operation, and a new one costs 80,000 euros. Too much – that’s why the operation is stopped.”

Trier: buses taken out of service after just 2 weeks

Tichy’s Einblick also sarcastically reports that since July, “The electric buses in Trier have proven to be truly quiet and environmentally friendly: They are idol.”

“Already after two weeks the first electric bus had to stay in the workshop. Reason: Problems with the battery. An end of the problems is not in sight,” according toTichy’s Einblick.

Bremen backs off electric bus plans: “many disadvantages”

The failures of the electric buses on German streets has not gone unnoticed. Even the Green/Socialist government of the northern city of Bremen has made “a 180-degree turn”.

Earlier the city had planned to purchase five electric buses, 40 percent of which were to be funded by the federal government. But the Bremen city government opted out of the plan. “The reason: It is still unclear whether the electric drive really is the technology of the future.”

According to Tichy’s Einblick: “Bremen Mayor Maike Schaefer (Green Party) says that e-mobility has many disadvantages: ‘The batteries need cobalt, which comes from mines in the Congo. Exploitative child labor prevails there.'”

“Currently, the electric vehicles also have such a short service life that their carbon footprint does not represent any real progress compared with conventional technologies,” writes Tichy’s Einblick.

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17 responses to “Attempts To Use Electric Buses In Germany Flop…”Many Disadvantages”, “Short Service Life”, “No Real Progress””

  1. drumphish

    Remove the battery, retrofit a diesel engine into the battery compartment, fit the driveshaft to the engine, drive the bus. It will be the most cost effective.

    Clean diesel fuel will help the engine last for years. Internal combustion engines do a better job.

    Doesn’t hurt to try electric buses using batteries, you find out what doesn’t work like somebody thought it should.

    Chalk it up to experience.

    1. Dave Ward

      “Chalk it up to experience”

      I think you really mean “Chalk it up to the taxpayer”…

  2. Georg Thomas

    Another absurd contradiction of the Energiewende: government is promoting e-mobility with huge amounts of money, stubborn determination and lots of coercion while its spiritual leaders (the Greens) are making an about-face after decades of pushing e-vehicles, suddenly calling the technology problematic. Not only is the politically imposed prioritization of e-mobility per se highly damaging for Germany’s car manufacturers, the new type of cars have become obsolete by political fiat before they are entering the market in full scope.

  3. Saighdear

    Stupid people – like those in Edinburgh with their Trams on rails:
    What is simply wrong with trolley Buses? NO Rails to lay= no disruption, uses Mains Electricity ( No batteries ). Nice & quiet on the road ( no screeching rails) etc,

  4. M E

    I remember London Transport electric buses. They were powered by overhead wires in the normal manner , as seen in many countries with trams and trolleys They managed the steep hills well.Why try rechargeable batteries ?

  5. John F. Hultquist

    I’m Shocked. Shocked I Tell You!

    My prescription for any of these schemes is to say the proponents need to get five working and evaluated. Progress reports can be used to line up funding for the next 50.
    If and Only If (IFF) . . .

  6. Gerald the Mole

    All of this was foreseeable and should have been foreseen. The only other certainty is that heads will not roll.

  7. V for Vendetta

    There’s a reason electric cars have failed 100 years ago. Low reach, high cost, lack of infrastructure (uneconomical to maintain) and highly sensible batteries.

    Today, it’s not much better:
    – low reach, especially when it’s cold
    – there will be new wars and putschs to secure the necessary resources
    – honest working people can’t afford these cars
    – the batteries are expensive, dangerous and difficult to recycle
    – where does the electricity come from if the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow?
    – our net can’t handle a dozen charging stations in the same street
    – the owner of the charging station wants to make profit -> much higher energy prices than at home

    Currently, this one looks more promising:
    LENR-Cars (LENR = Low Energy Nuclear Reaction)
    http://www.lenr-cars.com/
    The fact that it is mostly ignored or denied by the mainstream media does speak for LENR. Airbus Defense System has a LENR patent, Prof. Seeliger too and Andrea Rossi has just achieved a breakthrough with his eCAT.

  8. Stew Green

    Pierre the BBC just did a 8 minute segment on the “Coal transition in Germany”
    The BBC is basically the Snowflake Defence League who see’s it’s job to take minority snowflake voices and amplify them, using the whole of the public’s money.
    In this BBC World Service itemCaroline Bayley talks to a retired coal miner who will after his two year stock is used switch from coal to gas heating for the sake of his grandchildren
    .. That is hardly amazing ..it’s decades behind the UK
    She talks about his area Bottrop being a selected Innovation City of Energy Transition
    €350m spent so far
    “gas from the underground mine is used from the mines for local heating”
    .. so the guy will get a grant
    “more jobs” she claims

    (Then other 2 nearby areas lignite mines are still going )

    “In the new Year BBC World Service prog Global Business will have a prog about Energy in Germany”

  9. Gus

    If you want electric buses, junk batteries in the first place and turn to trolleybuses. A trolleybus is a great, well tested technology that’s been with us since 1882 and that has proven its worth over the nearly 140 years following. Combined with the present day advanced control systems they can be reliable and inexpensive to operate, the up-front investment in the infrastructure modest compared to, e.g., trams.

  10. tom0mason

    All this was foreseeable, the other foreseeable thing is that because this was done in the name of bettering the environment NOBODY will be charged with wasting public money, any inquiries will be a whitewash (if they happen at all).

    Just like those predictors of doom at PIK, no one is held to account, nobody take responsibility for all the mayhem they cause. The public like sheep just accept they got it wrong but still carry on over-paying them and their dumb schemes.

    ‘Payment by results’ might be the way forward .
    Claw-back half the pay from the person, or group of people, for every wrong prediction and every scheme like these eBus foolery. If prediction/green scheme is done by committee then all on the committee, whether they voted for it or not, HALF PAY if it fails — adjudication of the worth of a prediction/scheme by competent commercial audit company after 5 years – if a scheme fails before then, then all responsible personnel to loose all payments for the scheme.
    For every prediction of 30 years or more, automatically pulls 25% of the pay into an Escrow Account until the prediction is proven good or otherwise — again adjudication of the worth of the prediction by competent commercial audit company only.

    Maybe then these morons will realize the benefit of a proper cost/benefit analysis before public announcements.

  11. Pokusy zavést v pokrokovém Německu elektrické autobusy narazily na zbytky selského rozumu a německé technické schopnosti. Nesou s sebou všechnu technickou a ekonomickou kontraproduktivitu zelených „řešení“ - Reformy.cz
  12. chris moffatt

    when I was a kid living in Europe the buses and street cars were all electric and worked just fine – even up hills. Maybe it’s time to revive some old technology. A few tracks in the streets, some overhead wires – we lived with it just fine then, why not now?

  13. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #391 | Watts Up With That?
  14. Weekly local weather and power abstract # 391 – Next Gadget

    […] Attempts To Use Electric Buses In Germany Flop…”Many Disadvantages”, “Short … […]

  15. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #391 | Blackwood Report
  16. Alfred (Cairns)

    Mannheim and Frankfurt are under 90km (60 miles) apart. Hardly a “long-distance” 🙂

    Germany’s variable electricity is made by gas. If this bus had been running on natural gas, it would have used much less gas and been able to travel 10+ times further. Just an engineer’s way of thinking.

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