Originally published on EV Obsession.
BYD continues its push towards dominance of the electrified vehicle market with its first electric bus contract in Canada. The municipality of St. Albert has locked in a contract for a fleet of new 35′ BYD K9 electric buses (concept pictured below) to round up the locals and haul them around town.
This is an exciting development for BYD and for Canada as the country ramps up efforts to clean up emissions by harvesting the low-hanging fruit that mass transit represents. Mass transit and BYD specifically make the news here regularly because of the nearly guaranteed return on investment from electric buses, thanks to stable routes and predictable savings over the life of the vehicles… not to mention tapping Canada’s hydro-powered electricity to take a chunk out of cancer-causing particulate matter (PM) heavy diesel exhaust from city centers.
St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse shared his enthusiasm about the deal, showing that his city is looking at more than just the financials behind the deal but is perhaps even more excited about the opportunity to reduce emissions:
“We are excited to be deploying these new and innovative buses as part of our transit fleet. Reducing our carbon footprint and minimizing the impact on the environment is another way to maintain our natural environment for our residents and has been a Council priority for a long period of time.”
Getting down to the nuts and bolts of the deal, St. Albert Transit took steps on March 3rd to order 3 BYD K9s, which are expected to arrive in town in late summer or early fall 2016. The municipality has placed an initial order for both local and commuter routes, demonstrating the flexibility and pure range capacity of the BYD buses, which boast 250 kilometers (155 miles) of range per charge.
Another key factor in choosing BYD over the competition was the industry-best 12 year warranty on the battery system. With electric vehicles being so new to mass transit fleets, the warranty provides invaluable peace of mind for officials considering investing a serious chunk of city money in a new cleantech fleet. BYD buses also feature impressive horsepower and throttle responsiveness bundled in a refined solution with proven reliability in implementations around the world.
Finally, the lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry that BYD utilizes in its battery packs performs well in cold climates, with BYD batteries demonstrating in internal testing that they can function down to (and below!) an impressive -40 degrees Celsius.
Macy Neshati, Vice President of BYD Coach and Bus Sales is quick to highlight some of the benefits of electric buses — and EVs in general — that often go unnoticed as city officials typically look for financial wins without realizing that they are getting a full suite of solutions for their city:
“We applaud the City of St. Albert for its visionary leadership in demonstrating its commitment to improving air quality with zero-emission all-electric transportation with this action. Additionally, these all-electric buses will help reduce noise pollution on city streets to benefit the residents of St. Albert, and the city will save money on vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.”