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

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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:


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)


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.


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.


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.

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Kyle Field

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. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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