One of the most consistent and considerable electric vehicle producers this past decade has been BYD. In fact, it was probably #1, especially if you roll in all of the electric buses and electric trucks it has sold. In the past couple of weeks, though, BYD (which stands for “Build Your Dreams”) has put out some particularly interesting updates. I’ll roll through four of them.
BYD Tang EV Gets Its Specs in Norway
BYD’s electric Tang SUV is going on sale in Norway, and we now have its specs — the first time getting these outside of the Chinese market. Well, sort of. For some reason, we’re just getting the NEDC ratings for the all-wheel-drive 7-seater, not the much more realistic WLTP ratings that are now the norm in Europe. What BYD is stating is that it gets 505 km (314 miles) out of its 86.4 kWh battery (according to the unrealistic NEDC testing system). Acceleration is 4.6 seconds from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph).
BYD also highlights that it has gone fully premium for its Norwegian entrance. “The interior has received a major upgrade, with all seats upholstered in brown leather and waffle stitching, offering exclusivity and quality. Both driver and front passenger seats are ventilated and heated to provide the ultimate in luxury in the front of the cabin. For the front passengers too, a large infotainment screen can be rotated in either a horizontal or vertical format to suit specific vehicle displays,” the company writes.
“A large panoramic glass roof lets natural light flood into the cabin, providing a light, airy feel for everyone on-board. At lower light levels, strategic LED lighting can be adjusted to 31 different configurations to ensure optimum comfort. BYD Tang owners in 2021 are also treated to a fantastic level of connectivity, including 4G technology, DAB radio and OTA (Over-the-Air Technology), all future-proofed to allow the additional of more functionality as technology is upgraded.” That’s right — BYD does OTA updates. It’s no legacy laggard.
Production of the 2021 BYD Tang EV that will be sold in Norway begins in the second quarter, and initial deliveries are expected at the end of summer.
Switching gears (but not literally), BYD also recently sold some sanitation trucks in Idaho. J&M Sanitation has bought a couple of them. Yes, just two, but I can’t skip covering an electric refuse truck story — I love this topic too much.
Naturally, these electric garbage trucks headed to the city of Kuna are the first electric garbage trucks in the state of Idaho. Let’s see if other cities pick up the scent and make similar orders. (Yes, bad pun intended. I’m going to use my #DadJoke excuse card on that one — spring break just started.)
How rare are electric trash trucks? Very rare still, unfortunately. BYD indicates that these two trucks are just the 9th and 10th in the country. (Presumably, that means the 9th and 10th from BYD, but the overall number is probably quite close to 10.)
Here are some more details on the electric garbage haulers from BYD itself:
“The BYD 8R heavy-duty trucks feature BYD’s proprietary electric propulsion system designed specifically for refuse collection. With 295kWh of battery capacity, the trucks are built to support a full day’s operations. The cabs, chassis, and propulsion systems were built by BYD and are equipped with 31-yard automated side-loader bodies made by Amrep, a refuse truck body manufacturer.
“The all-electric trucks feature an all-Hardox 450 body shell, providing unparalleled strength and durability with a 175k psi rated hopper and body – offering an exterior 4x stronger than ordinary mild steel grades – while weighing 20% less than a traditional refuse truck.”
About 5% of the nearly 20,000 residents of Kuna should appreciate the quieter and cleaner garbage collection services they will soon enjoy. (J&M Sanitation services ~800 households each weekday.) J&M Sanitation says that these trucks can complete a full day’s routine and get back to the stable at 18% battery state of charge (quite an exact figure).
How much does a trash collection company care about you and the climate? Apparently, a lot in this case. “Our company made this investment to not only serve the community we love but also preserve the community,” said operation manager Chad Gordon of J&M Sanitation. “We are a small, family-owned business. We care enough about our environment that we wanted to make the switch to zero-emission, electric vehicles. It is time for our industry to make changes to help preserve the natural beauty of our world. We can make a difference and we wanted to be a catalyst for change.”
“As a small, family-owned company, we were able to make the change from diesel to the electric waste removal vehicles long before legislation mandated the change,” said J&M Owner and CEO Tim Gordon. “I want to encourage legislators from across the country and government officials from the energy department to consider legislation that encourages other waste removal companies to make this change sooner. If a small company like ours can make the change, larger companies can too.”
Kudos to J&M Sanitation for being a leader. And, as another inhabitant of our fragile and idyllic climate-controlled marble, thank you for going zero emissions.
Electric Buses for COP26 and Deutsche Bahn
To close out this BYD electric vehicle roundup, we’ve got a couple of electric bus stories. First of all, Deutsche Bahn’s national bus transport division, DB Regio Bus, ordered a handful of BYD’s 12-meter eBus model — five of them. Additionally, “BYD and Deutsche Bahn have together signed a framework agreement paving the way for further BYD eBus orders in 2021.”
More notably, First Bus has ordered 22 BYD ADL Enviro200EV electric buses for the upcoming COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
7 months ago, First Bus committed to not buying another diesel bus after 2022, and having a 100% electric fleet by 2035.
“Using BYD’s battery electric driveline technology, ADL will assemble the buses at its factory in Falkirk, ensuring the investment benefits the local economy in Scotland’s Central Belt. …
“The new electric vehicles, which will be 11.6m long and seat up to 40 passengers each, will be based at the state-of-the-art First Bus Caledonia depot in Glasgow. Charging facilities have already been installed there as part of an earlier project, which also saw a pair of similar BYD ADL Enviro200EV introduced at the start of 2020, giving the company valuable experience in the operation of electric buses.”