Clean Transport

Published on February 3rd, 2015 | by James Ayre


BYD C9 — First 200 Mile Electric Bus Unveiled

February 3rd, 2015 by  

Industry pioneer BYD Motors recently unveiled the first long-range battery-electric bus — the BYD C9 — at the United Motorcoach Association Expo in New Orleans.

BYD C9 EV busThe +190-miles range of the C9 puts BYD’s new offering in a category all its own as far as electric buses go — extending the potential uses of such buses far beyond immediate urban environments.

The C9 — as revealed at the expo, not necessarily the final version — is 40′ long and can seat up to 47 people. And it possesses, as previously stated, a single-charge range of over 190 miles, and a top speed of 62.5 mph when on the highway.

Here are some further specs via Gas2:

The new coach uses the proprietary BYD in-wheel drive axle with two 180 kW brushless AC synchronous motors, each capable of more than 1,100 lb-ft of torque. The 365 kWh lithium-ion iron phosphate battery pack can be recharged in less than 2 hours by way of a 200 kW charging system. The company says the battery will retain up to 80% of its capacity over its 12 year useful service life.

BYD is also making plans to bring two other battery powered buses to market in 2015. The three axle C10 is 45′ long, seats 58 and has the same propulsion system. It has a larger 394 kWh battery that can be recharged in 1.3 hours using a 300 kW charger. It has the same 190 mile range as the standard size C9.

As well as those 2 models, BYD is planning to release a compact 23′ coach, dubbed the C6. The C6 will reportedly seat up to 21 people, and possess a single-charge range of 125 miles. It will utilize a 180 kW electric motor and has a 152 kWh battery. It requires around 2 hours to charge via a 100 kW charger.

When all 3 models are taken together, they pretty much cover the field to my eyes, as far as long-range buses go — there’s something for everyone. All of the models will reportedly be available worldwide.

Image Credit: BYD Motors

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Jawas

    Have BYD Sold in Bus in the Middle East
    Can BYD Stand Middle East Weather ( heat – Dust – Humid

    • wave

      pretty sure they sold around 300 to israel or something

  • Ronald Brakels

    With over 300 kilometers of range it could operate as a passenger bus for about 16 hours in an Australian city on a single charge. I wonder if it would last that long wiith a continually operating air conditioner in an Australian summer, but we run very few of our buses for 16 hours a day anyway. Of course there is plenty of space on the roof for solar panels and air conditioner demand is of course highest when it’s sunny. (There are costs and trade offs involved with putting PV on top of a bus which is why electric buses for the most part currently don’t do it, but it is probably just a matter of time until it’s standard, for sunny locations at least.)

  • JamesWimberley

    Converting to normal units (you have non-American readers!) that means a range of 305 km (against 250 for the K9), top speed of 100 km/hr vs. 96, and torque of 1490 Nm to 1100 Nm. The torque seems to be the big increase, making the vehicle more responsive in city traffic.

    100 km/hr is not quite enough for a long-distance coach in Europe or the US, but BYD seems to have the urban uses nailed.

    What’s the weight? Denser batteries give designers a choice between cashing the gain in lighter weight and greater range, or better performance. BYD has sensibly split the difference.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      In Europe all busses have speed limit of 100 km/h. That is why also BYD busses has 100 km/h speed limit because it is not allowed to drive any faster than that.

      • vensonata

        Yes, 100km/h should be enough for U.S. as well. I suppose it could manage many intercity Greyhound routes, it is just a matter of thinking of 200 mile ranges vs unlimited diesel ranges. Probably better for Drivers as well…no excessively long working hours.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          I checked from wikipedia, that in united states there are no separate speed limits for trucks and busses in most states. In some states it is therefore probably allowed to drive faster than 100 km/h.

      • JamesWimberley

        I stand corrected! But it’s still 70 mph (112 kph) in the UK on motorways, 110 kph in Romania (link), so honour is saved. BYD can live without those two markets.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          From experience, Romanian roads are so horrible that it is impossible to drive faster than 80 km/h 🙂

    • Ronald Brakels

      Adelaide’s Tindo electric bus has acceleration equal to that of a diesel bus (though smoother than a diesel bus) and a top speed of about 80 kilometers an hour, which it never reaches as the speed limits in the city are 50 and 60 kilometers an hour. Assuming its top speed is an actual motor power limit and it is not limited to that speed for safety reasons, then an electric bus that can do 100 kilometers an hour should have significantly better acceleration than a diesel bus and that should be appreciated by drivers as they won’t slow traffic as much and is a useful selling point as they should be able to complete their rounds more quickly which directly translates into mo’ money.

  • vensonata

    So… would this be adequate for Greyhound service in the U.S? What range is required?

  • No way

    So in other words just a 10% increase from the K9 for the C9 and a 20% increase for the C6 and C10.

    But the focus on tourist and intercity travel is nice to see. Now let’s send this info to every bus company around the globe.

  • Interesting news! Hadn’t expected to see electric buses already.
    Any info on pricing? Presumably this is targeting intra-city transport rather than inter-city transport?

    • No way

      Electric intra city buses has been around for a while. Check out the BYD K9 which has been sold in a number of thousand copies.
      And if you are in London (as your info says) then you should take a trip on the line 507 or 521 in central London which has one fully electric BYD bus each.
      You are also supposed to have 4 fully electric buses on line H98 a bit outside the city center.

      And also wirelessly charged hybrid buses on line 69 (which hopefully do most of their trips on electricity).

      Go check it out 🙂

    • JamesWimberley

      Wikipedia says this about the K9: “reportedly priced at 2–3 million yuan (S$395,000 – S$592,600)”. I assume each contract is haggled to a unique price. The upfront purchase price is a lot more than a diesel bus, but the running costs are much, much lower. Chargers aren’t an issue, as buses go back to big central garages at night.

      We are still waiting for BYD to land its first big order in a European or American city. There have been many successful trials, but the big orders have all been in China, with one outlier in Israel.

      • Thanks James, sounds promising. I’m curious to try out the buses here in London first hand. Will report back.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        Also for longer distances, 300 kW charger can deliver in less than an hour about 200 km added range. It is required by law that driver need to have about that long breaks, so basically BYD’s electric bus can easily serve continuously between cities that are within 200 km from each other and even do night shifts.

        With single fast charging point, electric bus can continuously serve between cities that are within 100 km from each other.

      • Ronald Brakels

        About $500,000? The industrial powerhouse of New Zealand built us a 200 kilometer range electric bus a few years ago for considerably less than that, and it is of course still going strong. We’ll have to check what NZ can offer at the moment and see if they can compete. (Hopefully they haven’t forgotten how to make them since I believe Adelaide’s Tido bus is the only one they did.)

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