eBus battery is cobalt-free and low fire risk

Posted on 21 July 2023

eBus battery is cobalt-free and low fire risk

Nelson Tasman’s new electric buses come equipped with a different sort of battery to what you might usually find in an electric vehicle.

The Foton 12m Electric City Bus uses a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery as opposed to the Nickel Magnesium Cobalt (NMC) batteries used in many electric vehicles.

Nelson City Council Group Manager Infrastructure Alec Louverdis says that LFP batteries are safer and more sustainable than NMC batteries. 

“LFP batteries are more in tune with the needs of our new bus network in almost every way when compared to an NMC. LFP batteries are a much more stable chemical structure than NMC batteries, and are therefore even less likely to catch fire.

“The LFP battery also has a longer life cycle, is better value, and as it doesn’t use nickel, magnesium or cobalt is more environmentally sustainable.” 

The LFP batteries that will come with our buses are expected to last for more than 10 years, but once they reach that point it won’t be the end of their journey. 

“The buses could be used on a shorter run or alternatively the old batteries can be reused at the Richmond bus depot to store energy from renewable sources to charge buses or supply power to the depot,” says Louverdis. 

“Giving the batteries a second life goes further to reducing the impact our buses have on the environment. We’re really excited to get the new buses on the road, so Nelsonians can see just how good their new service will be.”

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