Context & commentary: As I just wrote in preface to a BYD electric truck story, among hardcore EV enthusiasts, BYD is well known as the world’s leading manufacturer of electric buses, and also as the leading manufacturer of electric cars in China. Even back in 2013, the head of Barcelona’s transit agency told me that BYD’s electric buses (which it had been testing for a few months) were cost-competitive with conventional diesel buses on a lifetime basis. The situation has only gotten better since then, and the last spreadsheet I saw on the matter made electric the obvious choice simply from a financial point of view.
There have been several trials programs with BYD electric buses in Europe, North America, and South America in the past few years (China is gobbling them up like they are french fries), and as far as I know, they’ve all gone well. So, many readers and I have been wondering when we’ll start seeing big orders of the buses, but due to the slow nature of turning over bus fleets, we mostly see orders of a handful of buses at a time.
16 buses isn’t a huge order, and it’s not actually one order but several (from different operators), but it’s yet another sign that BYD is making critical inroads at transit agencies and convincing leadership that its electric buses are the best buses on the market for them.
- First 15 of BYD’s all-new electric bus model
- “Much improved battery technology means that only two battery packs are necessary, allowing increased passenger space in a typical European layout, improved driver visibility and reduced weight.”
The press release from BYD:
BYD bus on Show in Paris: First 16 vehicles sold, RATP trial, complete range now ready for France
BYD, by far the world’s largest maker of pure electric buses, is demonstrating its commitment to the important French bus and coach market at the Transport Publics event this week in Paris. BYD is underlining the strength of its offering by announcing orders for 16 of its all new pure electric buses and coaches to French operators together with a trial with renowned Paris operator RATP and the unveiling of its 12 metre single deck bus – being displayed for the first time in France on its stand No M26 at the Show.
BYD at Transports Publics 2016 in Paris
Speaking today, Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe said: “France is one of the most important public transport markets in Europe, with its operators being amongst the most respected for their advanced thinking and efficiency. Today we are opening a new chapter of our sales efforts with the announcement of the sale of the first 15 of our all new pure electric coaches, a world leading model which we premiered here in Paris earlier this year”.
BYD France’s first customer is B.E.Green of Yvelines near Paris which has ordered three BYD pure electric coaches and one 12m BYD ebus to add to its 100% electric fleet. The Nedroma Group of Athis Mons, also close to Paris, has ordered 12 BYD electric coaches – the largest order so far for this new model from a Western customer.
Patrick Mignucci, President General Manager B.E. Green and Isbrand Ho, Managing Director BYD Europe at the delivery ceremony of BYD ebuses to B.E. Green at Transports Publics
The BYD stand features a heavily enhanced and Europeanised version of its 12m full size single deck bus. Much improved battery technology means that only two battery packs are necessary, allowing increased passenger space in a typical European layout, improved driver visibility and reduced weight.
The 12m ebus on show is similar in specification to the fleet of 35 ebuses which BYD has supplied to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the first in the world to go pure electric for its airside passenger transportation.
The 12m BYD ebus is the first in a full range of BYD pure electric buses for the European market which support BYD’s ‘green city’ vision of offering electric solutions in each passenger carrying category. Further details of the new models are given in the chart in the separate release.
It is no coincidence that Paris is the location for BYD to offer its range and had been chosen for the premiere of the world’s first pure electric coach model earlier this year. Paris officials have announced ambitious air quality improvement plans which involve removing many polluting diesel-powered vehicles from city streets.
The move comes as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) published a damning report on the worldwide consequences of poor air quality. It said: “Outdoor air pollution could cause 6 to 9 million premature deaths a year by 2060 and cost 1% of global GDP – around USD 2.6 trillion annually – as a result of sick days, medical bills and reduced agricultural output, unless action is taken”.
At Transport Publics, leading operator RATP agreed to commence a trial with a BYD ebus later this year (see separate release).