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Clean Transport BYD Electric Buses Keep Rolling Forward, Get Good Reviews

Published on December 19th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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BYD Electric Buses Keep Rolling Forward, Get Good Reviews



Originally published on EV Obsession.

As I wrote last week, BYD was the only company that met Barcelona’s specifications for an electric bus pilot program in the city. The company is clearly a leader in the electric bus realm. A couple of recent announcements further that point.

Praise From Los Angeles

Firstly, Los Angeles area transit officials recently gave praise to BYD’s electric buses, stating:

BYD’s bus’s electric clean air technology is silent, efficient, and can be used anywhere there is standard AC power. This technology is specially designed to be used by transit authorities without changing the way they operate. The superior longer life and safer Iron-Phosphate BYD battery will last for the entire bus life – making the total cost of ownership less than a conventional air-polluting bus. Once a bus-life is over, and the bus is retired (usually about 12 years), the BYD-type batteries will be available for re-use for another 20 years, in non-transportation uses such as at home and in electrical utilities.

“The technology of this BYD bus system is truly break-through, especially the battery, which is long-lasting and safe and is superior to any competitor alternative that I know of,” LA Authority Manager Hunt added.

Electric Bus Deals In Brazil & Elsewhere

Thanks to its market-leading position, BYD has just won an electric bus contract down in São Paulo, Brazil. Following a successful pilot program, the city has ordered 2 BYD electric buses for normal operation. ”Our tests were designed to demonstrate the performance of the e-bus running on the streets of Sao Paulo, such as its braking performance and so on. The electric bus was filled with a weight equivalent to a full load of passengers and run on bus lanes and other designed lines in Sao Paulo,” said João Carlos Fagundes, SP Transit Engineering Division Manager.

Here’s a bit more about how and where the buses will be used:

The buses will be integrated along with 20 current buses operating on Line 509M. This corridor is known as the “Smart Bus” route and hosts amenities such as a WiFi network, news broadcasting, and a smart route maps and information system, making this one of the most technologically advanced bus services in the world. In the second phase, SPTransit will implement a Second Swing Passenger Door version of the bus to accommodate multiple fare collection options as well as reducing load/unload time by 38%. This system integrates 73 buses from 7 different lines of different shapes and sizes including a double-decker model and an articulated model. With SPTransit leading the way in new public transit solutions, and BYD leading the way in battery-electric bus technology, this deal is a match made to change the way the world sees transportation.

Aside from the São Paulo deal, BYD has been awarded three other contracts within the past year, contracts for:

  • 10 electric buses for Long Beach, California (potentially more down the road);
  • up to 25 electric buses for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA);
  • 2 buses to Antelope Valley Transit Authority in Lancaster, California.

Notably, Warren Buffet is a major investor in BYD.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • RobS

    Zach, sorry to post off topic, I couldn’t find a contact us feature that I had used before but I feel there’s an issue that someone with your position may be able to have addressed. It first came to my attention in this article https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/EIA-Continues-to-Lowball-Renewable-Energy-Forecast

    I confirmed the claim by using the EIA interactive data browser and graph generator with the result here, http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser/aeo_query_server/?event=ehChart.getChart&study=AEO2014ER&region=0-0&row=9-16-AEO2014ER&cases=ref2014er-d102413a,full2013-d102312a

    The issue is that the EIA has officially predicted in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook published 4 days ago that there will be no net solar power capacity added to the grid between 2015 and 2030 in the US. They’re not just predicting a slowing of installation rates, their forecast graph has zero net additions for 15 years starting in two years time. Now the EIA has a history of low balling solar install predictions but this isn’t just a lowball this is just totally screwball craziness. Either their analysts have totally lost their mind or their has been tampering with the data or a mistake has been made. Serious policy determinations are made based on these numbers and they are just pure garbage. I think this totally absurd prediction which I cant see actually explained anywhere in text, needs to be challenged. It is merely hidden in the meta data description of a similarly absurd prediction that total renewables will only rise from 13% to 16% of the grid by 2040. I think if they wish to claim that a huge and sudden deviation from a long term trend is going to occur beginning in two years and lasting for 15 years they better justify exactly why they think that will happen.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’ve looked at those projections and they’re as screwy as the EIA’s predictions that wind and solar will cost 2x as much in 2018 as they do now.
      I wonder if Bush/Cheney planted someone in the EIA prediction office that is just rat-fkin’ us.

      • RobS

        Cost projections are always fraught but to claim ZERO solar will be installed between 2015 and 2030?!? That’s not just screwy, that’s either a shocking error or deeply suspicious.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’ve been considering writing the DOE and asking them if they can explain.
          We’ve got 150 coal plant closing. We’re closing nuclear plants faster than we opening new ones. We’ve got wind and solar going up all over the country.

          Their projections do not match reality.

          • RobS

            Absolutely, the prediction is so outrageous I think it needs to be challenged in a serious way. They have written a dozen paragraphs of text on electricity generation predictions including three on renewables in general, they mention solar and their absolutely extraordinary prediction which flies in the face of every other available report exactly 0 times.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let me stick the graph up.

            Coal use stays flat while we close a large number of coal plants with no plans to build new. Our coal fleet is old and near its close date.

            Most of the US nuclear plants will have exceeded their design lifespan and it is likely that over a dozen more will close soon due to financial problems. But nuclear stays the same.

            Electricity is about 40% (?) of US energy use. With wind now gaining about an 1% per year share of electricity production renewables will grow only 2% over the next 28 years? 1% per year would be 28% of electricity and well over 10% for all energy. And that’s just wind. Solar is starting to boom.

          • RobS
          • Bob_Wallace

            That one makes absolutely no sense.

          • RobS

            Is it that they originally predicted we wouldn’t reach 8 Gw until 2030 (which is almost exaclty what they predicted last year) and the only way to make that prediction true now is to simply stop at 8Gw for 15 years until 2030 before starting off again at a similar growth trend? Frankly it is as believable as the other possibilities in the absence of any explanation in the text of the report.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There’s so much garbage that it seems like something is badly amiss.

            Want to work on a letter to the DOE?

          • RobS

            I’ve trawled through the rest of the graphs. They predict no new installed wind capacity between 2015 and 2030, no new municipal waste capacity, no new solar thermal capacity and no new biomass. The only renewable source they predict to rise between 2015 and 2030 is geothermal, the technology that has struggled the most to get off the ground. This report can only be described as totally bizarre.

            They also predict a sudden and dramatic decrease in the installation rates of rooftop solar in 2015 to almost zero for 5 years before a VERY slow rise back to current trends by 2040.

            Their entire renewable capacity forecast is a total and utter shambles.

            Do you think a letter from an Australian will hold much sway with the EIA?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I was thinking we might work one up together.

            I started a draft. If you want I’ll email you the link.

            And if anyone else wants to get in on the action just speak up.

          • RobS

            Would be happy to contribute, I think really presenting the graphs next to graphs showing the long term trend and asking them to justify such enormous aberrations. They say they work with the current policies rather than forecasting policies, well I would like to know what current policies will cause a 15 year hiatus in installations of every renewable technology bar geothermal starting in 2015. Particulalry solar, to go from an 80% p.a. long term trend to 15 years of 0%, seriously aberrant.

          • RobS

            Positioning the graph I linked next to this one ought to do nicely, I would love to hear them justify how this trend will turn into a 15 year flat line.

            http://dqbasmyouzti2.cloudfront.net/content/images/articles/solar-capacity-generation-2013.png

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            throw me onto the doc & emails.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Your wish is my command…

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            and vice versa :D

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            wow, hadn’t noticed all this. i just skip past a lot of EIA stuff since i don’t trust it. definitely planning now to write up a piece highlighting what you have shown. you have any interest in a full credit for that? and, if so, a link or two anywhere? or should i do the “one of our readers…” thing?

          • RobS
          • Bob_Wallace

            All your links lead to the same place. The page from which one downloads the overview.

          • RobS

            Struggling to get graphs from the EIA interactive data browsers into anything else, canbt link them, also tried to insert them into the google doc letter, as soon as I insert one it thinks for a while and then says google docs is offline

          • RobS

            Any suggestion of an image hosting site that wont result in me accidentally ordering a mail order bride from the Eastern bloc?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Photobucket seems to work fine for me.

            With the GooDoc stuff I start by Saving the Image* on my own computer and then add it to the GooDoc from there.

            Hover over image – click right mouse button.

          • RobS

            Has been a bit painful, haven’t been able to get to the bottom of my constant Google drive drop outs, splitting the file into two so that each had fewer pictures seemed to make it more stable.

            I think its coming together, enough detail without being too cluttered and on point so we get a clear answer about our main queries.

          • RobS

            Happy to have a “one of our readers” credit and feel free to base it off the letter being drafted. I understand why EIA forecasts lag and they ner to be conservative but to claim that solar PV, solar thermal, wind, landfill gad and biomass capacity addition will cease completely between 2015 and 2030 is simply ludicrous and needs to be highlighted and challenged.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            cool, thanks. i love giving very specific credit, but i know that some readers/commenters don’t want it.

          • A Real Libertarian

            These graphs look like Scientology’s membership records.

          • http://electrobatics.wordpress.com/ arne-nl

            I’ve read through some of the texts and the narrative is as follows:

            Around the 2016-2017 timeframe the PTC’s and other incentives will expire. Renewables are completely dependent upon these and deployments will come to a total standstill as a result. Then the technology needs about 15 years to develop and become cost-competitive without incentives somewhere in 2030.

            Edit: I don’t have to add how absurd that narrative is.

            Oh and another howler: they predict annual sales of EV’s to be 200,000 in 2040 and another 200,000 PHEV’s. That’s a good one for Zachary to fall from his chair in amazement.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, the PTC for solar drops from 30% to 10% at the end of 2016. The ITC/PTC for wind has to be rewritten each year. At this point in time there are no subsidies for wind in 2014.

            They certainly should know that.

            Wind has been selling for an average of 4c/kWh for the last three years. That is as cheap or cheaper than new CCNG and cheaper than all other new generation.

            That comes from their own 2012 Wind Market Report.

            This is more than a howler. This is a major problem. The crap they publish gets picked up and used by anti-renewable agencies.

            It’s very common to see attacks on wind and solar based on the EIA’s bogus 2018 cost predictions and their silly estimate of what new nuclear might cost.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            ha, wtf?

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            we’ve got some good PR connections at the DOE now. sure they’d try to get us an answer.

          • Otis11

            May I suggest posting it on this site as an open letter in addition to sending it? And their response? I’d be very interested in reading both. (Also happy to help if I can contribute, but I’m sure you three renewable heavyweights know it better than I)

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Yes, will do. And happy to add you to it! @Bob_Wallace:disqus, want to add him to that doc? Or I will once I get in there. :D

          • Bob_Wallace

            Is that “@” thing suppose to get to me? I don’t twitter.

            I put the project on hold until after New Years. I figure no one is going to take notice of anything the next few days.

            Just as an update, it looks like it might be best to send two letters, one about the predictions that we’ll see ten years of no wind/solar installations, and a second about the 2018 price predictions for wind and solar that are higher than current prices.

            This is the link to the ‘renewables stall’ letter draft…

            https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QzcYC9bTHZYvFSKY6YwksmoCs5efk6ZTxuAl3nBWgOo/edit?usp=sharing

            This goes to the less developed letter on 2018 prices. It’s also where some odds and ends have been parked.

            https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pIgAgq7Bw7urLEU__k3-kH3ckikL9bR33Ca1UiT3YOs/edit

            I’ll add Otis.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            haha, i was hoping the @ would somehow get your attn in case you missed it in email. :D

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      I’ve had plans to do a huge “forecasts” piece for a long time, but maybe i should just finally get on it and actually do a series of pieces. i don’t know what the heck is up with the EIA. it is using some mighty contrived assumptions in my opinion. i’m not sure where the origin of those mistakes stem.

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