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London To Get Its 1st Large-Scale Electric Bus Fleet, Thanks To BYD + Alexander Dennis Limited Partnership

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Go-Ahead London has contracted BYD Company + Alexander Dennis Limited to provide 51 emissions-free, all-electric buses as part of a £19 million deal between the groups, according to a recent press release.

The 51-strong electric bus fleet will, once delivered, represent the largest such fleet in the whole of Europe, making the deal quite an important one for the region, for BYD, and for Alexander Dennis Limited, hopefully paving the way towards an electric future.

Image credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

The new electric buses will be used on Go-Ahead London 507 and 521 (operating between the Waterloo and Victoria stations). As most readers can probably guess, the deal will see BYD provide the chassis and electric drivetrains, while Alexander Dennis Limited will body the buses — using the company’s market-leading Enviro200-like midi bus design as the template.

As it stands, the new electric bus fleet is expected to begin service sometime before August 27, 2016. Given that plans from Transport for London call for all of the London’s single-deck buses to be completely emissions-free by 2020, this fleet will presumably be followed shortly thereafter by others.

The press release provides more information:

The new deal, worth £19 million, includes a full on-site repair and maintenance program for the term of the contract and combines the strengths of ADL’s Enviro200 12m single deck (with 18,000 units sold worldwide) and BYD’s own design of Iron-Phosphate Battery technology and drivetrain system. The latter has been proven to deliver outstanding range and reliability in multiple international markets, covering millions of kilometers of passenger-carrying service.

The decision by the two manufacturers to collaborate on this first fleet is a significant step. It brings together the proven, safe and long-range capabilities of BYD’s pure electric buses (the company has 3,500 in service worldwide) with the outstanding and high quality vehicle design and UK build capability of ADL. The resulting vehicles, capable of carrying up to 90 passengers, will offer Londoners some of the most advanced zero emission buses in the world and provide opportunities for the two partner bus builders to work together in the future for the benefit of other bus operators, their passengers and the wider community.

Speaking on the situation, the Managing Director of BYD Europe, Isbrand Ho, commented: “Working together with our partners and friends at Alexander Dennis Limited we can provide a truly optimized blend of expertise. Our deep experience of not only battery technology but the critical battery management systems and driveline components necessary to deliver unequalled range and reliability are matched to Alexander Dennis Limited’s strong track record in building low weight, attractive and durable buses. This combination will deliver a unique vehicle which we believe will have a strong appeal in London and elsewhere in the UK.”

The Engineering Director of Go-Ahead London, Richard Harrington, commented as well: “We are delighted to have placed this order with BYD and have every confidence that along with Alexander Dennis Limited they will deliver exactly what they promise, that is, the world’s most advanced, zero-emission, pure electric bus fleet — and one that will match the rigorous demands of the London operating environment. Go-Ahead is constantly striving to stay at the forefront of technology and to make a major contribution in the reduction of emissions and pollutants. This is a considerable step towards a cleaner, greener London bus fleet.”

The deal represents just the latest in BYD’s impressive recent string of successes. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of the company in the coming years. Global domination of the growing electric bus industry?

Previous statements from the head of Barcelona’s transit agency to EV Obsession indicated that BYD’s electric buses were competitive with conventional diesel buses when comparing lifetime costs. If that’s the case, given the tremendous health, quality of life, and climate benefits of electric buses, it seems like a given that cities should switch to these. I imagine a successful launch in London will help to catch more eyes and advance such a future.

Related: London Gets World’s First Double-Decker Electric Buses, Clean Bus Summit Starts With A Bang

 

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Written By

James Ayre'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.

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