Clean Transport

Published on May 3rd, 2016 | by Kyle Field

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While Tesla Tackles Cars, BYD Attacks Diesel Emissions With New Truck Line

May 3rd, 2016 by  

While Tesla may have the lock on electric vehicles for personal use, BYD has its sights set on the commercial side of things and is charging forward at a staggering pace. We regularly cover BYD electric buses here on CleanTechnica and are thrilled at the news that the next chapter of BYD’s push to electrify transportation in North America kicks off today.

At the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach today, BYD is blowing the lid off of a program that’s been in the works for a long time — it is bringing a full array of electric trucks to market which are aimed directly at one of the key sources of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution in our cities — diesel trucks.

byd nature

With BYD having proclaimed itself as the “Official Sponsor of Mother Nature,” this move feels like the natural next step in defending the air quality in our cities. There aren’t many things in my life that ruin a nice sunny day in Southern California more than a whiff of diesel exhaust — especially knowing that the particulate being breathed in has been directly linked to cancer.

“This year BYD is taking a bold step forward to unveil a new line up of battery-powered vehicle applications, giving customers more options to save on fuel and operations costs by going all- electric,” said Stella Li, President of BYD Motors. “As a battery company first and foremost, we know this technology is safe and ready for widespread use in a variety of applications. And with our industry-leading, 12-year-battery warranty, fleet managers can be assured these vehicles will operate reliably for the entire life of the vehicle, allowing them to save tens of thousands of dollars per year per vehicle over the lifetime of the vehicle.”

While many of us here at CleanTechnica have been pulling for BYD to bring its passenger vehicles (PHEVs and EVs) to the US for direct sales to consumers for a long time now, the move into electric trucks is a much more logical next step and is right in line with the Master Plan it has been working on all along.

BYD’s new lineup for North America will be built just a few miles outside of Los Angeles, California, in sunny Lancaster. We toured the facility in September last year and were impressed with the flexibility of the factory as well as the high-tech approach to building high-end electric vehicles for fleet applications.

The introduction of trucks to the lineup is a natural extension of this existing competency, with the main difference being a vehicle designed to carry tons of cargo vs a vehicle designed to carry lots of humans around town. They both leverage BYD’s competency in building high-power, long-range vehicles that take advantage of BYD’s mastery of batteries.

These new trucks all feature the same tech that BYD perfected in its buses:

  • Environmentally friendly: no heavy metals or toxic electrolytes
  • High-efficiency, permanent magnet synchronous motors
  • Regenerative braking extends battery life and reduces brake component wear

Into that mix, BYD dropped another sweet piece of tech — Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) — that really takes these trucks to the next level. Can you plug a diesel truck into your business and power it for 20 days in the event of a power outage? Didn’t think so.

What about emergency responders? Can you imagine a fire department bringing a box truck out to the site of an emergency — like a tornado, plane crash, remote rescue, and powering the entire command base off of the battery in the truck? BYD isn’t promising these things (yet) but the fact that it is leaning forward into V2G with this new line speaks to the possibilities.

  • Vehicle-to-Grid system that allows the truck to deliver power back to the grid, to a load, or to another vehicle

Without further ado, here’s the new family lineup from BYD, revealed to the world for the first time at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach California … today. 5 new platforms, endless possibilities:


byd_battery_electric_T9truck

The BYD T9 Class 8 truck utilizes the first battery that was purpose-built for vehicle electrification … from BYD. This big boy boasts 100+ miles of range, which meets the needs of many haulers. It has been designed to fit seamlessly into your fleet without changing the way you do business. (Fact Sheet)

byd_battery_electric_T7truck

The BYD T7 trucks comes with a 23,600 GVWR and 124 miles of range. Take a look at the fact sheet for the full rundown on the specs. This big guy can be designed as a refrigerated box, a stake bed, or with a bucket depending on the application.

byd_battery_electric_T5truck

The BYD T5 is designed for longer routes and sports a 16,100 lb GVWR. The T5 taps BYD’s world-class batteries to deliver 155 miles of all-electric range, getting your goods to customers with zero tailpipe emissions. The T5 can be designed as a refrigerated box, a stake bed, or with a bucket depending on the application. Check out the full spec sheet here.

byd_battery_electric_stepvan

The BYD Class 6 Step Van looks like a perfect fit for many small businesses, as it offers the perfect 100-mile range for around town deliveries. Check out the full fact sheet for all the juicy details. This repower mod was developed specifically for UPS and could mean big business for both BYD and UPS if the joint venture takes off.

Beyond just the nuts and bolts of trucks, BYD is launching an all-electric forklift with ultra-fast full charging (as opposed to the “80% in 30 minutes” claims we get from most fast-charging stations). This results in a fully charged forklift in 1–2 hours vs the typical overnight charge … and that’s after running for two full shifts.


Back on the bus front, BYD isn’t sitting still and has launched a new 40-foot, low-floor, long-range bus sporting 160 miles on a single charge. It’s worth reiterating just how predictable bus routes are, which makes them such juicy targets for electrification. A typical city bus runs the same route day in and day out with minimal variations because any variation in the route has a direct impact on the published schedule that riders depend on.

All BYD electric transportation technologies displayed at ACT Expo can charge at 40 kW, 80 kW, 100 kW, or 200 kW rates, requiring between 1 and 5 hours of charging time depending on the model and selected charger. Even after 10,000 charging cycles, BYD batteries still retain 70% of their initial capacity.

We will unpack this mega load of announcements from BYD in more detail in future articles, including photos of the new lineup from ACT. Keep your browsers on CleanTechnica for all the juicy details as they unfold.


Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor. Tesla referral link: http://ts.la/kyle623



  • heyjoe williams

    batteries are essential, but why not power our highways like trolley cars? Stretch exposed wires over freeways and interstates so when you are going long distances you can simply raise a tower to the wire and charge as you go, power is metered by an on board computer.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s an option. The best solution will depend on economics. Would it be cheaper to install overhead wires, install in-road inductive charging (assuming it works), or use battery swapping?

      Overhead wires are likely to receive some public opposition.

      • Ulenspiegel

        Why should overhead wires reive public opposition? On a autobahn?
        In many cities there are trams with overhead wire. That will not be the problem.

        We need a larger producer of trucks and a German government that gives a few billion Euro to electrify a few thousand kilometers of autobahn or federal highways (Bundesstrassen); problem solved.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Here, in the US, we have highways that run through beautiful landscapes.
          I, for one, don’t like the idea of hanging wires in the view. Let’s see if we can come up with a better idea.

          (Even in Europe I’ve yet to see a city made more beautiful by overhead wires.)

        • Jens Stubbe

          If you are hellbent on electrifying long distance hauling despite negative impact on GHG emissions then you can at least do it at a relatively modest cost because you do not need to electrify long stretches. A mile or so per 20 mile would suffice. And you do not have to reinvent the wheel in Germany / Volvo is already doing it.

          I for one agree with Bob on this subject although the concept of electrifying trucks outside city centers is downright stupid.

          Heavy snowfall and strong winds etc. makes the case for embedded solutions where it is affordable to heat the road to keep it ice and water free on the stretches where the charging occurs.

          • Ulenspiegel

            We have long doistance hauling and replacing it will take time, railway tracks are s severe bottleneck, therefore, electric trucks are the lesser of two evils for me.

            Yes trucks are stupid, but you have to propose a practical alternative, you do not.

            Whether you electrify small sections or longer stretches is a matter of taste, one kilometer costs only 2 million.

            Nice that Volva does electric trucks too. The point you miss is that you need a larger country to start the transition. Or do you reallly believe it matters when Sweden or Denmark would start this as long as Germany does nothing? A German decsion would force many others to adop this system.

        • Just a note: overhead wires are no longer needed. It’s a constant debate in US planning circles when a new streetcar line is being proposed: 1) bury the wires to keep the view clean and increase safety (in a storm), or 2) have overhead wires for the historic feel and sentiment.

        • Jenny Sommer

          It’s expensive to maintain and you can’t land helicopter or drive higher vehicles anymore on some routes.

  • vensonata .

    And the next move to force this transition is to disallow diesel or gas trucks in urban areas. Simple as that, air quality and noise are priorities in cities. Trucks will either have to switch loads at city perimeters or go all electric all the way.

  • Rolan Volante

    The only thing missing now is wireless charging to facilitate and speed up the motion of these e trucks along its routes. Momentum Dynamics already has a 200 kW wireless charger in the works and there you go , clean commercial transport could soon be spread across the US. Bet big oil is scrambling to hamper this kind of play-out. Wireless charging comes to first place ..

    • Jens Stubbe

      Wireless charging is not required at all (Volvo is doing it with a road embedded the truck connect to) and if you even so pushed on with wireless charging you would make the GHG emissions even higher than they already are because you have losses in inductive charging.

  • Brooks Bridges

    Fantastic news! Can’t build them fast enough. I get a lot of deliveries from Amazon and so obvious UPS and EV’s are a perfect match. And the bigger trucks – so important in cities.

    • Totally! One thing about amazon…I played with one of those carbon footprint calculators and was blown away by how much of an impact shipping packages is. As a result, I scaled my ordering down and cancelled prime. That acts as a nice forcing function to batch stuff up into $49 or more per shipment. take it or leave it 🙂

      • Brooks Bridges

        I hear you but: you have to get your stuff one way or the other for which there will be some CO2 cost. So you really need a way to calculate the difference between the two. I would not be surprised if UPS/whatever were actually the cheaper even before EV trucks (CO2) for many of us in small towns with limited shopping. (I really like it when local stores have stuff – we have a fantastic full service hardware store).

        I try to batch my orders and select slow delivery most of time. But rare to actually get a single delivery of entire batch. They do reward you financially for selecting slow delivery.

  • No way

    Lovely article, one of the better on CT in a long time. Only one remark, why bother to include Tesla as clickbait when it has nothing to do with this? BYD sells more EV cars than Tesla and they are growing faster too so they have got that “locked in”.

    • It’s been a distinction Kyle’s been highlighting for a while. After I wrote about Tesla’s (very-old-but-not-known-to-many) “secret master plan,” Kyle did a long piece on BYD’s master plan to electrification. Basically, Tesla is bringing a lot of eyeballs to EVs, but we find it important for the growing number of EV fanatics to realize the importance of these “less sexy” segments and the solid work BYD is doing to clean up these other areas of transport, and to appreciate that.

      tl;dr: Tesla is bringing a lot of eyeballs to EVs, and we want more of those people to know about and appreciate the “dirtier” work going on to clean up transport.

      Not sure if that fully answers your question, but hope so.

      • Yup, this. Sorry for any confusion…this is really exciting news to me and wanted to draw the parallel in how hard both companies are working to push into their respective pieces of the game. I almost see BYD as more important as they are working against diesel emissions (which are terrible!) but Tesla is doing much better of getting people excited about EVs which probably earns them the award.

        • neroden

          The passenger car market (driven by individuals) is very, very different from the bus & truck market (driven by fleet sales, often to governments or agenies, sometimes to corporations). They take different approaches. Tesla has to make the cars “look cool” — BYD doesn’t have to make its trucks look cool but does have to convince very conservative buyers that they’ll be cost-effective.

          • Carl Raymond S

            Which means the E Truck market takes off at a speed proportionate to the price of oil…
            Exception is where the truckers gain a PR advantage – “our product is greener than our competitors product”.

          • neroden

            Unfortunately (from that point of view), my projections for the price of oil have it staying low. I’m guessing for several years it will stay in a $30-$55 range; below that and wells shut down, above that and people buy electric cars, reducing demand.

            Fortunately it’s *still* cheaper to operate off of electricity than off of diesel even at $30/bbl. And as I said, the complaints about diesel pollution near docks and railyards may drive truckers to switch to electric just to eliminate the neighbors’ complaints.

          • Frank

            In Ohio, they banned smoking in public indoor spaces due to the negative health effects for the employees. I don’t see why air polution should be unlimited and free, especially if electric trucks become available. I think the neighbors should be able to complain, get it measured, and fixed.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s an issue that requires public understanding before it will have an impact on decision makers. All of us need to be working to educate the public about the cost of pollution and how we have workable alternatives.

          • Greg Hudson

            Where I live (Melbourne Australia) smoking is not only banned indoor, but outdoors as well… In certain places like, Frankston Mall, and all outdoor eating areas. One day it will be the same for trucks…

        • I think it’s well placed. And think it’s a fun and useful comparison to keep exploring/discussing.

  • S Herb

    Angels, robed in white … how long we have waited!

  • Doug Cutler

    Warren Buffet owns a sizable chunk of BYD. Yet he’s recently made statements expressing scepticism about climate change or at least seriously downplaying the impacts. From this you might conclude he’s trying to throw competitor investors off the scent while he corners the market on electric trucking and busing.

    • Adrian

      Or he’s just well hedged against many eventualities…

      • Doug Cutler

        Yes, I was trying to leave some room there for an ironic reading of my comment. In fact, Buffet may be hedged for every eventuality except the impacts of catastrophic climate change itself.

  • saurdigger

    Thanks for the update. Looking forward to more and more of these in the cities first and then the highways as the economics take over. Don’t have the diesel fumes from idling motors while their owners take a break and lots of gas potentially saved. The V2G backup power just an extra thick icing.

    Anytime I hear about trucks of any sort going hybrid or electric, I think of the MPG/GPM relationship: http://www.mpgillusion.com/p/what-is-mpg-illusion.html

    • we should share that often…

    • Brooks Bridges

      This has bugged me for years. GPM (with some good units) so much more informative.

  • vensonata .

    This certainly answers some questions that have frequently come up on CT. Can long haul trucks be electric and what size batteries are required? The class 8 gets over 100 miles range on 188kwh battery, so 1.9 kwh per mile. For a true 300 mile range one would need at least triple that which would be 564kwh. But of course the extra weight of the larger battery might require 600 kwh total. At $180 kwh about $108,000 for the battery pack. Shouldn’t be a problem paying back with fuel, since these batteries have 10,000 cycles with 70% capacity remaining or 27 years at 300 miles per day.
    The average daily mileage for class 8 drivers is 500 miles and about 100,000 miles per year. 333 charge cycles per year.

    • Yep. To be honest, Kyle got this scoop months ago, and we’ve been very excited to break the news — has been tough holding our tongues (er… fingers).

    • Roger Lambert

      (Two million semi’s in the U.S.) X ($108,000 per battery pack) =
      $216 Billion just for batteries.

      But, most long-haul semis travel on the same route corridors, back and forth. Much like city buses.

      Why not electrify those corridor roads with wireless charge-as-you-drive inductive charger plates? – They would need much, much smaller batteries at much less cost and weight. Or keep the same batteries and double or triple their range. Reasonable EVtruck user fees would pay for the infrastructure.

      Bolsters feasibility for the same rolling inductive charging for ALL cars and trucks. Everybody wins.

      • Bob_Wallace

        About 500 kWh for 200 miles. Prices will almost certainly drop to $100/kwh. $50,000 for batteries. Swap them out every 200 miles. Less than three minutes to swap.

        Battery swapping as opposed to wireless charging would mean the ability for a truck to leave the main route and make a secondary route delivery/pick up.

        It would come down to overall cost.

        • Jens Stubbe

          Ok too soon to praise you for getting wiser I see.

          If you reintroduce the failed Better Place concept you also accept far less battery utilization and require a complex business scheme where the user lease batteries.

          But assuming that you combine all EV trucks will from time to time be operational in areas where they cannot charge using the road.

          Road charge comes with an efficiency penalty and you will also tend to charge during peak power demand periods, which is bad news for grinds that rely on smartgrid thinking.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Your complete comment is bull.

            There’s nothing “complex” about battery leasing. Pull into a charge station, grab a charged battery, the swap is charged to your account.

            Running batteries 12 to 24 hours per day, up to 7 days a year will wear them out far faster than car batteries will wear out. That “extra” battery will be used up in short years.

            I used the average cost of electricity in my math, not low off peak costs.

      • vensonata .

        Fuel costs per year at 2million semi x 13,000 gallons each x $2.50 gallons equal 66 billion dollars year. Probably 6 year payback on cheap electricity.
        Now the question is: to swap or not to swap? A 100 mile range with a 3 minute swap or 300 mile range with a 2 hour charge? I’ll let the wise commenters decide.

        • Roger Lambert

          1) Swapping? This article says nothing about swapping, does it?

          2) The idea of on-the-fly inductive charging is that you arrive at the end of the corridor with as much charge as you started.

          So, if the corridor is 200 miles long, you probably only need a 100 mile battery, but you can travel 500 miles before you need to attach a cord, ie, you only attach a cord when you are home.

          Simply doesn’t seem to make sense to buy and then cart around 2 million copies of a battery, when the road itself could be “the battery”.

          A billion toy slot car tracks can’t be wrong! It makes more sense to electrify the road than to hassle with batteries for every vehicle. Especially if we eventually get to autonomous trucks – they could have their own dedicated slots.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “It makes more sense to electrify the road than to hassle with batteries for every vehicle.”

            1) Determine the ability to recharge batteries while driving highway speeds.

            2) Determine the cost of wiring roads vs. installing “superchargers”.

            Do that and we can start to understand what makes more sense.

          • Roger Lambert

            1) Stanford PhD’s have been saying for a couple of years now that the system should work [http://www.gizmag.com/stanford-wireless-ev-charging/21321/ and http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/wireless-vehicle-charge-020112.html%5D

            2) I can’t do it, because we don’t know how much it would cost to wire the roads. There are only experimental pilot studies right now. But, if electric roads meant that EV batteries could be made much smaller, then there would be a big budget for roadway electrification: a goodly portion of $1.25 trillion for each generation of cars on the road. That buys a lot of electric cable. A whole lot.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Should work” is very different than “has proved to work”. Step one – charge a moving vehicle.

          • Jens Stubbe

            Ok so you do wise up 🙂 This is what Volvo plans and have tested.

            Your earlier back of the envelope calculation for 18 wheelers based on an adaptation of the old Better Place scheme certainly made very little sense.

            The major environmental benefit for these trucks is that there are less point emissions and noise whereas the total emissions depend upon the grid they draw the electricity from, which in most cases will exceed the emissions from a standard truck.

            Given time all grids will be greener and standard trucks will then become more polluting except if they adopt Synfuels or biofuels.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Explain why battery swapping made little sense.

            Use facts and numbers.

          • Jens Stubbe

            Here is the “bull”.

            For every truck in service you need to have a factor of extra batteries ready to meet the demand for battery swapping and even more if you want to charge renewable energy enough to match the GHG emissions from standard trucks.

            Average US electricity with the appalling performance of your coal plants has sky high GHG emissions.

            With a larger amount of electrons stored in a larger quantity of batteries the 2-3% monthly seeping electricity losses for Tesla style batteries begins to be significant.

            You quoted the expected cell prize without the complete on board battery infrastructure and without the usual mark up to cover development, marketing and overhead and on top of that you left out Vatt. So the selling price for the battery included with the truck will be significantly higher than you seems to believe.

            Irrespectively whether you look at the super charger model, the lease model or the road charging model there are cost in your models that are not accounted for.

            Volvo has an expectation that they can charge safely from special roads and in Scandinavian that model is closing in on Diesel drivetrains GHG emission standards because our grid is predominantly based upon renewables. I do not see that happening in USA in this decade and probably not until around the middle of the next decade.

            To make your case you also decided to operate with Diesel at $3.5 per Gallon, which combined with the undercharged battery related costs paint a stupid picture. The actual cost you can see here https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/

            I do not think we will see much higher prices than the current $2.3/gallon including taxes and profits and I expect it to go down long term due to cheaper biofuels and Synfuels so you are chasing a fast moving target both from an economic perspective and from an environmental standpoint.

            Major consumers probably get the Diesel at around $1.6/gallon due to their buying power, which is less than half your presumed costing of Diesel.

            However to be absolutely clear I am pro electric vehicles for city delivery trucks, busses, taxis, lawnmowers, bicycles etc. I made an effort as early as in the nineties to persuade the Royal Danish Post to go that way.

            Ps. The facts and numbers requirement is strangely missing in your own arguments. How can I know if you operate with a factor 3 battery capacity to be able to swap when required or if a truck maker will mark the cell cost up by double or triple or how much a reasonable nation wide battery swap infrastructure costs. Baseline that is your ideas and your challenge to model a sensible economic case.

            Ps. Ps. If you really are Interested I can call up my cousin. She is part of the middle management level in DSV the second largest transportation company in Denmark and among the largest globally.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, you do have to have extra batteries. But trucks running close to 24 hours a day, seven days a week are going to wear out batteries much faster than a car driving 13,000 miles a year. Those extra batteries will be used.

            Charging truck batteries would be done pretty much around the clock. Perhaps some could happen with lower off peak electricity. But cost projections (just like for synfuel plants) need to use realistic commercial electricity prices.

            You’ll notice that I used $0.12/kWh as my electricity price.

            The US grid is now under 30% coal and dropping. The amount of coal would be the same for battery charging or synfuel manufacturing.

            2-3% loss per month on a battery that will spend roughly half of its time outside a running truck. That’s a hell of a small straw you grasped there.

            Diesel is now over $2/gallon in the US and about $2.50/gallon in California. These are, of course, extraordinarily low prices due to a supply glut.

            I’ll look at your other criticisms but let me point out that my intent was to show that we could run long range freight hauling with electricity.

            Even if the cost comes in a bit higher one has to also consider the cost of health damage caused by diesel pollution. When picking nits try to pick them objectively.

          • Mike Dill

            I can see higher power superchargers for these trucks, to add 200 miles in about 30 minutes. No need for a 500 mile battery.

            If a load needs to go more than 200 miles, it should be going by electrified rail.

          • Frank

            I read something suggesting that there should not be property tax on the equipment that electrifies the rail, a notion I tend to agree with.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you’re talking long distance freight, I doubt the industry would be open to spending that much time recharging.

            I agree on electrified rail. But we don’t seem to have a movement toward large scale electrified rail in the US at this time.

            I’d like to see the DOT come out with a plan for creating a Pacific to Atlantic electric rail plan where trains could cruise at a minimum of 100 MPH, nonstop, from coast to coast. Then a plan for 2-3 N/S routes, one on the West Coast and possibly two to cover east of the Rockies.

  • neroden

    This is a big deal. I look forward to more information, including release dates, contracts signed, and so on. An article for each product would be warranted! Maybe you can get an interview with someone from BYD?

    Hopefully these will actually be for sale in the US very soon; like most companies, BYD announces prior to finishing certifications and actual availability.

    It’s very smart of BYD to head directly for the truck markets where there are practically no all-electric competitors. They already have two serious competitors in the bus market, and the passenger car market they’re competing with Tesla as well as others. In the big truck market I know of one startup in the UK and that’s it.

    BYD could get a lock on the truck market if it gets a good product to market fast. UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service are obvious markets for the Step Van, and apparently it was designed for UPS, so we may see it in use ASAP.

    The T9 Class 8 is a big deal. This would handle the majority of around-town hauling — dock to warehouse, railyard to warehouse, warehouse to supermarket, and most importantly, *dock to railyard*. The dock to railyard traffic is extremely concentrated and there are huge objections to the local pollution, so I think companies will pay to convert that traffic to electric ASAP.

    • Carl Raymond S
      • neroden

        Anyway, the point is:
        — neither the UK nor the German company is selling in the US, as far as I can tell. The last company which was selling big electric trucks in the US folded…
        — it’s hard to convince fleet buyers to buy from a low-capitalization startup. BYD’s big-money backing and large size and track record in China makes it a safer buy for a fleet buyer.

    • Yes, as noted in another comment of mine above, Kyle found out about this way early from meeting BYD reps at their factory and offices (the latter with me as well). We are super excited about it and told the guys there this is exactly the type of thing that thrills our readers. Have developed a great relationship with the guys there, and definitely looking forward to covering this stuff as it rolls out, and doing some interviews from time to time to dig deeper.

      And, btw, maybe you’ll recognize someone here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTBjVlNc_l8

      😀

      • Frank

        That Antellope Valley guy says they will be the first 100% electric bus fleet. I am very curious what it takes to convert to an all electric bus fleet, and how is it different for both the people running the system, and those riding the busses. For example do you need fewer mechanics? How do the costs compare? Do people like the quiet? How do they charge? You know, the kind of whitepaper you would give to other city operators.

        • Armchair Hydrogeologist

          I hired a guy a uear ago that previously converted buses to electric for a high profile silicon valley company. He said the suspension system wears out very, very fast due to extra weight. The suspension system needs to be custom engineered compared to equivalent capacity diesel system for maintenance to be low.

        • neroden

          — People do like the quiet.
          — in areas which are “noncompliance” for air pollution in the US, you can get federal grants to get the electric buses
          — you need to install some heavy-duty chargers at your bus base

    • Bob_Wallace

      Both UPS and FedEx have been very positive about electric trucks. The CEO of FedEx has been a large supporter, he sees great economic advantage.

  • Armchair Hydrogeologist

    Can you swap the batteries? How do you get all-workday asset utilization out of them with out being able to swap the batteries?

    • Fast charging, charging at gov’t required breaks and lunches, charging at each stop along the route. Not sure what the specific implementation looks like but I’ve seen all of these talked.

      • Frank

        I know you know, but I just gotta say it When it comes to moving big heavy vehicles, torque is very important. Guess why diesel electric trains aren’t just diesel? All the torque at 0 RPM’s. And the more stop and go, the better the regen. Clean, quiet, efficient, and gobs of torque. What’s not to love? Oh, fueling might get a lot easier in a big city too, if they keep closing gas stations like in Manhattan.

  • dcard88

    Has there been much discussion of school buses? They are another great target for BYD. Maybe need to be cheaper.

    • I haven’t seen anything about them. Not sure why. Interested in starting a company to fill the gap?

      • dcard88

        If I could manage my own self, I would definitely be interested. 🙂
        I would, on the other hand, be willing to attempt to sell them…or at least the idea. I would guess it to be a slam dunk as soon as we can build them for under a $100K. We could start with the smaller 30 seaters. Maintenance and fuel savings would be huge.

        • Bob_Wallace

          There’s a company in California that converts school buses to electric. If a school district has a bus that has a solid body but the engine is shot that makes a good candidate.

          • Yeah, I thought of that, but seems they aren’t really scaling or prepared to scale.

    • Dude…on the way home from ACT right now…and there is an electric bus called eLion. I’ll be doing a full write up shortly but for now…check out this video. Crazy how this JUST came up lol. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJwkN8kj7wI

  • JamesWimberley

    BTW, truck classifications are quite different in the USA and Europe. Europe tends to use gross weight in metric tonnes. A long-distance heavy truck would be a 40-tonner, an urban delivery van a three- or five- tonner.

  • JamesWimberley

    Is the bus really a new model? The K9 has an advertised range of “>155 miles”, which looks very similar to the 160 miles Kyle reports.

    Bus interiors are tweaked to fit the preferences of customers, so a new model has to mean changes in the chassis or powertrain. It would make little sense for BYD to announce a cosmetic model change. The next true model should have either significantly improved performance – i.e. acceleration and range, top speed is unimportant in urban use – or lighter weight and lower cost.

    • I didn’t see anything about a new bus at the show. It was likely just the K9 that was being mentioned.

  • Carl Raymond S

    For a long time, we’ve used 10 joules of oil to put 1 joule of food on the shelf. Blind Freddy can see the problem with that.
    These trucks go a long way to fixing the ratio. Just waiting for the electric tractor announcement.

    • “I hope mother earth’s terms and conditions permit more official sponsors.”
      –Indeed. And have to love BYD’s clever marketing (+ activism) there. 😀

  • eveee

    Great work Kyle. Cant wait to get a look at this line up. This is going to have a wonderful effect on stop and go truck emissions and maintenance. Just what the doctor ordered. Kudos to BYD for bringing them in.

    • Kyle has been itching to write about this news for months. 😀 Such great news. But we remained honorable media friends with BYD and waited till they were ready to break the news. Definitely told them our readers would be thrilled, so am happy to see you guys & girls (*hello, girls..*.) delivering in the comments here. 😀

      • Bob_Wallace

        Ask their opinion of battery swapping in order to turn their 100+ mile tractor into a highway hauler (larger battery pack).

        (I suspect the BYD batteries are too heavy. Might need to go with lithium-ion as Balqon has done with their 125 mile range tractor using a 320 kWh pack.)

        • Will do. We may have actually asked about it, but don’t recall for sure. Maybe @kylefield:disqus does.

          • I’m charging now on the way home from ACT. I didn’t catch this before going but will ask. I assume almost 90% likely that it’s not something they are looking into…for the trucks at least. Not sure about passenger cars yet but it even seems like Tesla is dropping this. I’m hoping to get out to the Harris Ranch station before anything changes 😛

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