Editor’s Note: we’ve been covering BYD’s cost-competitive electric bus for a long time now, and have enthusiastically shared news of many small orders, but orders totaling 1,800 electric buses is huge. Let’s hope we see more such orders soon.
Originally published on the ECOreport.
Build Your Dreams’ (BYD) sale of 1,800 electric buses and 400 electric taxis this week is the most recent example of how this Chinese company is expanding into the world market.
Four days ago, on March 5, the Nanjing Public Transportation Group announced an order for 600 BYD electric buses, 50 of which were delivered for the city’s Youth Olympic Games in August 2014. Authorities also placed an order for 400 of BYD’s all-electric e6, a 5-passenger cross-over utility vehicle, some of which have already hit the streets.
On March 7, the company announced the sale of another 1,200 electric buses as well. These will be delivered to the city of Dalian in 2014 and 2015. During the ceremony,
“BYD Founder and CEO Chuanfu Wang introduced company milestones, R&D capabilities and products including the electric bus and fully electric e6 SUV being used worldwide in fleet applications. He also took the chance to talk about BYD’s latest consumer offering – the break-through, plug-in-hybrid, Qin. Chairman Wang highlighted operational statistics of the BYD electric fleets now totaling over 175 million Km traveled (~111 million miles in revenue service) and operating in many cities including recent projects in London, England and New York City. A key message from the BYD Chairman was that this technology is not just environmentally friendly, but very efficient and profitable for the operators as witnessed in the Shenzhen fleets. Zhenggao Chen, Governor of Liaoning province, expressed his view that BYD is a pioneer in the aspect of new energy vehicles, and is confident BYD will seize the opportunity to develop and keep mastering the core technologies for new energy vehicles to keep winning the war combating poor air quality.”
BYD is a publicly-traded company and 60% of the investors are Americans. Warren Buffet is among them. Berkshire Hathaway owns around 6% of BYD’s stock. Mr. Buffett and his colleagues recognize BYD’s breakthrough battery and EV technologies: an electrified, 24-hour, and long-range battery that provides emission-free, silent, and economic public and private transportation. (The Chinese Government does not have any shares.)
The electric company’s greatest successes have been in China, where it was founded and the first BYD electric bus came off the assembly line in September 2010.
Two weeks ago, the company made an announcement in Bangalore, which is sometimes called India’s Silicon Valley, that a bus was launching there. The city has huge pollution problems, and 20% of its emissions come from the existing bus fleet!
The company has been marketed in Europe and is selling a fleet of 20 zero-emission, fully-electric BYD e6 cars in London, and 35 electric buses in the Netherlands.
North America has been a tough market. Windsor, Ontario, signed a letter of intent to purchase 10 electric buses two years ago, but, after lengthy negotiations, signed with a US electric bus manufacturer, Proterra. Meanwhile, Long Beach has ordered 10 buses.
The most recent cities to announce trials were Los Angeles, for 90 days, and Spokane, for 30.
After a 10-month trial run between Gatineau, Québec, and Ottawa Ontario, the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) and AVT, a consortium of Québec’s nine transit agencies, recently confirmed that the bus achieves 155 miles of range and performs as advertised.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority also tried the zero-emissions electric bus and subsequently reported it delivers more than 140 miles per full charge in heavy traffic.
The bus’s longest trip on a single charge, in North America, is 186 km.
The distance record may come from Malaysia, where after a six-month trial, Prasarana Transit reported that the buses were getting more than 400 kilometers to a charge! Needless to say, they promptly ordered 15. After taking it out for a spin, the Governor of Malacca gave the bus a thumbs up. “The electric bus is very comfortable and very quiet, we like this kinds of zero emissions bus.”
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