Electric Micro Bus!

Posted: July 20, 2013 9:48 pm

I have an all-electric non-working 2007 Microbus for us to play with! Let’s play! “What?” you say?

2013-07-10-13.13.21“You have a bus?”

Well it’s technically not mine. Last year I got Chamber Music at the Barn, a local nonprofit I am friendly with,  to accept the donation of a 2007 Microbus for me. The shuttle service from Jacksonville Mississippi who owned it bought 2 of these as an experiment. They didn’t like it much (too small for the football players they were transporting around, apparently) and when it got vandalized they decided to dump onto a nonprofit. I had plans to fix it up but it hasn’t happened so I thought maybe MakeICT would like a shot at it.

“What’s it need to run?”
There appear to be 2 primary problems:

  1. The passenger door is off the bus and is missing hardware. The shuttle service didn’t like the door so this is the result of that.
  2. The vandals ripped out electronics so there are electronics on the floor. The shuttle service says all the electronics are there, but I have no idea.

2013-07-10-13.13.06It also has a cracked windshield. It’s already rusting. There’s other stuff, I’m sure. The bus is one of only 2 in the world, apparently, so I don’t think AutoZone is going to help us much. 🙂

“Gimme some details on this dealie gig.”
Ok. Well, the bus appears to be a rather simple design — basically an overgrown golf cart. It seats 11-15 supposedly, and weighs about as much as a subcompact. It is road legal and supposedly can go 30-odd miles an hour — perhaps faster if the governor I’ve heard is has is removed. The shuttle service told me all the electronics are very standard. For example, it takes 8 lead-acid batteries which are apparently standard golf-cart batteries. I’d guess the batteries are bad at this point.

The shuttle service used the bus on a campus for 4-hour stints so apparently the batteries lasts at least that long when driven slowly.

“Let’s say we get it running. Then what do we do with this thing?”
2013-07-10-13.21.08Everyone so far seems to feel the seats might go. What ideas do you all have after that? Here are some we have kicked around:

  • turn it into a moving new-media cr8zy-town. Park it on Final Fridays at Commerce St.
  • have a portable lab/workshop/space
  • host classes with materials we keep on the bus.
  • answer the question “Will it blend” by putting it in a huge blender. Well…nobody actually suggested this…

Technically the bus is still Chamber Music at the Barn’s, but I don’t think they care much about it. Perhaps to be nice we could collaborate with them to use it as a shuttle service at their space several evenings during the summer. Or not.

“Cool! Let’s get this thing running!”

2013-07-10-13.21.15Glad you are into it. We plan to get it to Jeremy’s shop in Goddard where us MakeICTers can let loose on it. If you want to be a part of that, let us know! Let’s make a bus-fixin’ team! 🙂