A record-setting new order of electric buses and taxis was recently received by the fast-growing manufacturer BYD.
The deal for the order — for 2,000 long-range, battery-electric transit buses and 1,000 long-range, pure-electric cars (taxis) — was signed just this last week by the Mayor of Hangzhou, Hongming Zhang.
When you hear the city name Hangzhou, the reasons for the huge order start to make a lot of sense. Given that air pollution in the city is a serious and growing problem, it’s not at all surprising to see the government there looking to reduce said pollution through the use of a huge “zero-emissions” public transit system.
“Today the electric vehicle market is growing and EV technologies have matured to the point where every city transit should be adopting them. The turning point of new energy is now, and we want to see BYD grow the same way we saw Jack Ma’s Alibaba grow years ago,” stated Secretary Gong Zheng of Hangzhou’s Municipal Committee.
The first 1,000 electric buses and first 500 electric taxis will be delivered before the end of 2014, according to BYD.
It’s a good sign to see such a big attempt to tackle air-pollution occurring on the city level in China, but it’s a serious problem that will likely only be dealt with completely through national-level policies. For example, through the closing down or phasing out of coal-fired power plants. Still, good to see this announcement, regardless.
In related news, BYD has recently been making new inroads into the US market. A pilot program utilizing BYD’s electric buses recently successfully concluded in New York City — demonstrating very clearly that the buses are very well suited to the purpose, even in a city like New York. It seems very likely that we’ll be seeing more of BYD in the American market in coming years.