Clean Transport

Published on March 26th, 2014 | by Roy L Hales


BYD Sets European Record — 325 Kilometers On A Single Charge

March 26th, 2014 by  

Originally published on the ECOreport.


BYD’s electric buses have set a European record, travelling 325km (202 miles) on a single charge, at the end of which they still had 8% of battery charge remaining.

This exceeds the 310 km record, with 31% of charge remaining, that BYD set last year on a trip between Warsaw and Krakow.

The world record, however, would still appear to be in Malaysia, where Prasarana Transit reported that the buses were getting more than 400 kilometers to a charge!

Two electric buses have been operating in Copenhagen since January, where they have proven they can operate well in the Scandinavian winter.

More than 25 European cities have tried out the BYD electric bus.

In Ankara, Turkey, BYD’s electric bus reputedly proved it can provide a 80-90% reduction in operating and maintenance costs over natural gas fueled buses.

Meanwhile, the California Labor Commissioner dropped recent charges that BYD had paid workers less than the state’s minimum wages and reduced the company’s fine from $99,245 to $37,803.

The company’s lawyer, Lanny J Davis, has issued a statement saying:

It is my understanding that BYD welcomes the decision by the California Labor Commissioner to dismiss as unmerited citations alleging that BYD paid below California’s minimum wage to five professionals from China who temporarily worked for BYD in the latter half of 2013.

BYD produced substantial documents to the Commissioner’s office proving that BYD paid these professionals the equivalent of above the state minimum wage of $8.00 hour. BYD documents prove that these professionals were in fact paid $12-$16 / hour. Therefore, the Commissioner’s office has today agreed to dismiss the minimum wage assessment based on the alleged under-minimum-wage payments. All five of these professionals were no longer working for BYD in California by the end of 2013.

However, the Labor Commissioner’s position is that BYD should have paid these five employees in U.S. dollars, not in their home currency – Chinese renminbi (RMBs). While BYD disagrees with this position as a matter of law, in the spirit of resolving this matter, BYD has agreed to pay $1,900 for this alleged error. This means that the hearing on the minimum wage issue on calendar for tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28, will no longer be necessary. BYD appreciates the cooperation and communication that led to this resolution.

However the hearing will continue regarding two other alleged technical violations that BYD denies — the alleged omission of two out of nine categories of information on check stubs of all employees; and the alleged denial of rest breaks for 8 employees who were permitted to choose to take one twenty-minute rest break, rather than requiring a split of this break into two ten-minute breaks against the employees’ preference.

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

  • Greencar

    Yes history repeats itself again, first Japan coming out with World Class products and now it is China’s turn, thank you all posters for updating me.

    • Bob_Wallace

      There was a time when US quality lagged European. We talk about Swiss watches and German cameras when we look back at the quality of goods in earlier days.

  • Greencar

    At first I did not believe that the Chinese can come up with such amazing technology in a bus but after reading all the posts here , I am slowly becoming a believer. I always thought that the Chinese were very backward and dumb.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you were alive when FDR was in the White House you’d remember how, following WWII when Japan was rebuilding it’s manufacturing and economy, Japanese products were trash. The biggest insult one could make about something was to say “It must have been made in Japan”.

      But over time Japan grew their economy and manufacturing facilities and started making world class products.

      There’s no reason to think that China, while starting from behind, couldn’t catch up. China was “backward” and their previous system of government was dumb, but China has progressed at a rate no one would have expected possible.

      I’m sure that there is still some shoddy merchandise coming out of China. But there is also top notch stuff.

  • Greencar

    Over 200 miles on a single charge and very efficient, environmentally safe and quiet.
    Many cities can use them.

  • Greencar

    When doing business, trust , loyalty and Patriotism is paramount. We need to put Americans back to work not ppl from other countries.

  • Greencar

    The city of Long Beach has already cancelled its contract with ByD, there must be something wrong. There is a red flag about this company, don’t buy ,america.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Yes, here is what was wrong –

      “The decision, made in agreement with BYD itself, was made about one year after board members voted to give BYD the contract in the first place. Federal Transit Administration officials have asserted that BYD should not have been awarded the contract at the time because the company was not yet eligible to participate in contracts financed by federal grant funds. The now-cancelled $12.1-million deal with BYD depended on $9.6 million from Washington.

      The board’s vote this morning makes it possible for Long Beach Transit to reopen the contract to new competition, which may now include BYD and other competitors.”

      Long Beach signed the contract too early. Nothing at all to do with the quality of BYD buses.

      Now, you’ve made your ‘buy American’ appeal several times. This is not a political board or an “America First” board. It’s a clean energy board. Any more buy America stuff will be considered spam.

  • Greencar

    The attitude should be this as always, buy Anerican. Like Rumsfeld said, if you don;t like America you can leave. General motors will come up something soon.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you don’t like the plant, you can leave. As for Rumsfeld, do you really admire the guy who helped get thousands of American soldiers killed by phonying up a reason to go to war?

      We’re all in this mess together. I really don’t care who invents/manufactures the best way to get us off fossil fuels.

      BTW, BYD intends to manufacture in the US. Just like Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, …..

  • Greencar

    China has made many enemies in the way they do things, I do not think this bus will sell. “Made in China” and dirty business does not cut it.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Perhaps you missed the fact that this bus is selling.

      It’s the best electric bus available today.

  • Greencar

    Look in another 3 yrs the USA will come up with something better than ByD. Now for those of you who do not care nor like America, you can leave., like Rumsfeld said.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Rumsfeld can’t leave.

      Without being arrested as a war criminal.

      If a company in the US builds a better/cheaper bus than BYD then they’ll take market share away from BYD. That’s how it works.

      Right now BYD seems to have the best option.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Rumsfeld also said this:

      “it is not knowable how long that conflict [i.e. Iraq] would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months”

  • Greencar

    20 miles on a single charge is not good. Do not buy this Chinese bus, the USA will come up with something better.

    • Bob_Wallace

      20 miles? Got a wandering decimal point problem?

      • Greencar

        Look BW, do you trust the USA or China? We are just three yrs behind, we will come up with a better bus. Made in China?

        • Bob_Wallace

          What’s trusting a country got to do with it?

          BYD has battery powered buses on the road and they seem to be performing well.

          I don’t view climate change prevention as a team sport. We’re all in this together. If someone comes up with something useful, go with it.

          If another company creates a better bus, then switch.

        • It’s not really about “trusting” China. The bus has done well in trials around the world — Europe, USA, South America… It has beat out a US competitor several times. In the Barcelona example I shared above, it was the only bus that met the ambitious specs the city put forth.

  • JamesWimberley

    We are still waiting for one of the many cities outside China that have tested BYD buses, by all accounts successfully, to plunge in with a serious order. I get the feeling it won’t be long now.

    • Yeah, I keep waiting. Am surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

  • Sufiy

    Powered by Lithium: This New BYD Electric Car Is Demolishing The Competition In China

    Warren Buffett can be right after all with his investment in BYD. After few tough years and exaggerated expectations company is making progress. BYD Electric Buses are making headlines all over the world now and BYD Qin Plug-in Electric Car seems to be on par with its technology, pricing and general expectations for the New Energy Car for its customers. New Energy is the key here – government in China is pushing again very strong towards cleaner economy to beat the horrible air pollution crippling life in all major cities across China and state-level plan to revolutionise and electrify the transportation is well underway. Now the Lithium based technology finally is making its possible.
    Tesla Model s is going to be the very big hit among affluent Chinese customers, it will be interesting to see who can compete with Tesla Model E coming in a few years time to the Electric Cars mass market.

  • Michael Berndtson

    Electric buses for cities should couple overhead wire and battery power. Limit overhead wires to straight main routes and battery power for busy intersections and elsewhere. Use DC for wire delivery of electricity.

    • mike_dyke

      As the bus in questions does 202 miles on a single overnight charge in the depot at cheap rate (i assume) why does it need overhead wires to give it a boost during the day at a higher electricity cost (not forgetting the costs involved in the overhead cable system itself)?

      • Michael Berndtson

        Great question. So I did some googling. Here’s the stats on Chicago buses (the only city that matters):

        “CTA has 1,781 buses that operate over 129* routes and 1,959 route miles. Buses make about 19,709 trips a day and serve 11,493 posted bus stops.”

        I couldn’t find anything on miles driven per day per bus. But it looks like a city bus typically travels from 75 to 150 miles per day. This is based on Milwaukee’s statistic and this awesome study from the 1970s on US public transportation:

        You’re correct. On a daily miles driven, the BYD bus seems to have it covered. However, do buses just sit in the yard at night? And is this a good use of an asset? I’m assuming a city wants to have buses put to use to make revenue, rather than sitting around getting charged. I’m thinking more like a mining or construction engineer here, where any operational asset not put to use is a waste.

        If the same electricity is charging batteries as flowing through wires, that shouldn’t be an issue. As far as cost for wiring infrastructure versus number of battery only buses necessary for use and backup – that would have to be an economic analysis I’m too lazy to do right now.

        It probably comes down to the city. A highly populated and spread out city may benefit from in use overhead wire charging. Especially a city that has buses that do straight runs from city centers to outlying suburbs. A less populated more dense city may not.

          • Michael Berndtson

            Thanks Zachary. It looks like people, who actually do transportation engineering for a living, have been thinking about it. My thought process is based on merging old ideas with new. Many US cities have/had electric overhead lines for electric buses and diesel for outlying roots. It seems like having in-use charging for battery electric buses, from overhead wires that may or may not already have infrasture, would make sense. Probably not.

        • mike_dyke

          In London, UK (In my opinion the only city that matters :-)) buses do not sit idle at night. That is the time when maintenance and cleaning is done on the buses so plugging them in for a charge forms part of that. They also do a night service where a reduced bus service is run throughout the night which is a great help to those who work “unsocial” hours.

          The problem with wiring infrastructure (Once it has been built – more cost) is that if one bit fails, then you can’t run “wire only” buses over that area of town whereas if one “battery” bus fails, you can still run a service albeit with a gap in it until you get a new bus there (or the original fixed)

          Most bus operators know how many miles each route is and so how far a bus needs to travel each day to cover that route. Let’s say 150 miles per day(worst case from your figures) if you were buying a battery bus to cover that route, you’d want it to be able to cover that route and some extra without having to stop for a charge which will lose you money. So it looks like these 200 mile buses tick all the boxes. Less maintenance, can cover the distance and better for the environment.

          • Michael Berndtson

            Nicely analyzed. I’m convinced.

            In reality here’s what may happen (everything to follow is fiction or simply made up). A Chicago alderman has a brother-in-law with friends who invested in battery power electric buses. Another Chicago alderman has a sister-in-law whose great aunt’s second husband works as a civil/transportation infrastructure construction contractor. Several technical and economic feasibility studies and a major city council war later, diesel buses continue to be used for this and the next generation.

          • mike_dyke

            Or… They put all the infrastructure in and start making money. They then get caught by an investigative reporter but the infrastructure stays in as it’s working too well.

          • Bob_Wallace

            BYD has been running fleets of successful EV taxis for a few years now. Many of their taxis run 24 hours a day and are ‘rapid charged’ during driver meal breaks. Their batteries are showing no damage after 150k miles of mostly rapid charging.

            Most cities cut back on the number of buses run each night. It should be possible to rapid charge enough buses to run the nighttime routes while the rest of the fleet slow charged.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Michael, some cities have kept their tram systems and could have electric buses charge off the existing overhead wires while they are on those streets. Melbourne has the world’s largest tram system and so electric buses could charge while in motion over a large area of the city. However, since trams are already transporting people over those routes most buses wouldn’t spend much time on them. While there are plenty of things that can be done to reduce the required battery size of an electric bus, one good way to overcome resistance is to simply produce a bus that can do everything a diesel can except cleaner, quieter, and cheaper. And BYD has done that. Once it becomes clear that electric buses are the future people will probably try to optimise routes and save money by purchasing shorter range buses for situations where long range isn’t required and maybe work out ways to “micro-charge” buses at each stop, but the impressive thing is none of that is has to be done as there are now buses that can do the job of almost any diesel.

      And just because I want to I will mention that Adelaide’s only electric bus, the Tindo solar bus, manufactured in the industrial powerhouse of New Zealand, has a range of about 200 kilometers and is still going strong.

      • Michael Berndtson

        Thanks Ronald. You stirred up memories of my Australian projects. This was mid 1990s. Worked in Melbourne mostly, Spotswood to be precise. Worked on a small project in Adelaide as well. What a beautiful country. Coopers beer was pretty good, too.

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