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Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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Successful BYD Electric Bus Pilot Completed In NYC



Originally published on EV Obsession.

Adding on to other successful pilots of BYD’s battery-electric bus, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) just completed a successful pilot of the BYD bus.

NY_Transit-BYD_Bus

This electric bus from BYD reportedly has a range of 140–155 miles on a single charge, and it is supposed to retain 80% of its battery capacity after 12 years. Not bad, eh?

Here are some more details regarding the NYC pilot:

The test period was from Aug 25th to Oct 25th totaling two months in service and the final report data has been summarized for distribution. “The general purpose of the program was to evaluate how an electric bus could perform in New York City’s heavy traffic, whether the electric bus can meet the twin challenges of operating in the stop-and-go traffic of Manhattan while maintaining high levels of passenger comfort and operational performance,” said MTA’s spokesman Kevin Ortiz. The bus tested at MTA was supplied by BYD Motors, based out of Southern California, and offers a range of 140-155 miles average between charges. Charging is intended to only be completed at night during off peak hours to reduce unwanted demand on the grid, and takes only 3 to 4 hours to return to full capacity.

The testing was carried out on different routes throughout Manhattan, including M20, M42, M104, M98, M60 and Bx27. The total distance covered during the trial was 1,481 miles. The BYD all-electric bus “performed excellent” with an average battery consumption of 1.4 miles per % SOC, translating to over 140 miles per full charge in heavy traffic. The average speed of electric bus was ~4 miles per hour under Manhattan’s heavy traffic. After two months of running, the electric bus’s average battery duration was 0.3 hours per % SOC, translating to 30 hours of operation per full charge, as opposed to other competitors that require en route recharging every 2-3 hours during peak-rate times. These uninterrupted operational hours are more meaningful in a busy city like New York, as routes and speeds travelled tend to be short in distance but long in duration. When contrasted to Diesel bus technology, BYD’s electric buses are far more efficient in energy consumption because Diesel engines are still idling when in heavy or stopped traffic.

In the end, the expected operating-cost-per mile of this BYD electric bus is ~$0.20 to $0.30, crushing the $1.30 per mile an equivalent diesel or natural gas bus costs in New York City.

Looking good for BYD. I think it’s primed to sweep the electric bus grand slam that we’re about to witness. That would certainly make notable investor Warren Buffet happy. Buffet has stuck by BYD despite some troubling times for the company.

e-bus-intro

By the way, since this pilot was in New York City, which was slammed by Superstorm Sandy not long ago, this added benefit from electric buses is not one to shirk at: “BYD buses that are connected to power-interfaces can dispatch power back to the grid (bi-directionally) in case of an emergency or for optimized grid utility.” That could be mighty valuable someday, especially in a city like New York, where time is so valuable and density is high.

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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.



  • Greencar

    It will save cities much pollution and money and maintenance is a lot cheaper. Every city should have a fleet of these.

  • Vishal

    Is it true that it accelerates 0-50kmph in 20 seconds ?

    3 phase AC is used or else simple DC ?

  • BP

    The problem with the bus is there is always current flows in the coils, whether the bus is charged or not. Also, the time it stands on for charge will more over time when the battery started to degrade. The primary and secondary coils are good for Tooth Brush technology, not for high power consumption technology. It will waste lot of energy indirectly.

  • Barry S.

    “BYD Motors, based out of Southern California….”

    This makes BYD sound like an American company, which it is not….it’s based out of China, and thus far BYD buses have been unable to pass the US government testing at Altoona. I’m not against the idea of Chinese buses if they are in fact the best, but in this case they are not. Proterra has an all electric bus that has passed Altoona and is currently operating in 10 cities across the US logging hundreds of thousands of miles. Engineered & built here in the US, and the revenue from bus sales goes to a US company.

  • Wayne Williamson

    Very cool…any idea of the cost difference between the BYD and what ever is/was running the route?

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