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Aug 2014

The 1st Electric Bus Available Worldwide

29 August 2014 | Posted by Zachary

One day, buses will probably all be electric. But, today, there is only one long-range battery transit bus which is capable of driving continuously for more than 250KM/155 miles even in fully loaded and with air conditioning system in constant use. 

BYD electric bus

That one bus is the BYD electric bus. The BYD electric bus has been successfully evaluated in pilot projects on 4 continents, including cities of Los Angeles, New York, Brazil, London, Bogota, Copenhagen, Barcelona, and elsewhere. The pilot projects all seem to have gone well, a growing series of pilot test indicate the electric buses could prove to be considerably cheaper on a total cost-of-ownership, life-cycle basis versus conventional air-polluting buses, with the buses performing more or less as expected. I was able to ride on one in Barcelona, Spain, and the director of the transit agency told me that all was going well so far. The pilot program had only been running for a few months, but he noted that, results have been impressive across many different duty cycles showing that the bus is capable of driving for route-service on a single battery charge. If things kept going the same as they were, compared with the previous conventional diesel buses, the zero-emission electric bus has demonstrated a dramatic reduction (from 80%-90%) in operating and maintenance costs.

For customers like cities and transit agencies, it takes some time before a new product is adopted. Tests, tests, and more tests must be implemented first. However, BYD electric bus has now been running in pilot programs for a few years in many cities home and abroad, which gained highly acceptance with impressive results. It has successfully completed the Altoona structural integrity testing program, this is the world’s first electric bus to complete the Federal Transit Administration’s sponsored testing. It also be approved for sale and operations in Canada after earning the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) Certification.

BYD with large scale operating experience and strong technical strength will benefit the most due to the increasing demand of new energy vehicles, and I expect we’ll start seeing big orders in South America, North America, and Europe in the coming few years.

In China, where the BYD electric bus is built, much more cities start running BYD’s e-bus and big orders has been growing. The Nanjing Public Transportation Group in March ordered 650 e-buses. Nanjing Youth Olympic Games also witnesses the official operation of BYD’s e-bus fleet. Shenzhen, the hometown of BYD, with 780 e-buses running in the street, and the total mileage of e-bus has reached an amazing of 30 million km till September 2014. The city of Dalian in March ordered 1,200 e-buses and recently BYD has received a record-setting order for 2,000 units of electric buses in Hangzhou.

The bus has great range and could be used on most bus lines. “Utilizing BYD's proprietary Iron-Phosphate battery, it meets roughly 80% of urban transit needs with typical range of 155+ miles,” BYD writes. The estimated electricity use is 1.92kWh/mile, or about $0.21/mile. After 12 years, the bus battery pack is supposed to retain 80% of its initial capacity.

Other specifications of BYD electric bus include:

*High-efficiency, in-wheel traction motors allow for ultra-low floor loading options and simplified maintenance

*Energy recovery and battery recharging through optimal Regenerative braking reduces brake component wear

*Bi-directional AC Charging allows full charging from 0-100% SOC within 5 hours, the bus can be used as a mobile generator

For its electric car, electric bus, energy-efficient lighting, solar power, and energy storage leadership, BYD was a 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize Finalist.

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