China’s BYD is ready to bring electric buses to American municipalities coast to coast, but first it has to convince these municipalities that these buses are ready for primetime. That’s why BYD has loaned a K9 electric bus to the city of Portland, where Green Car Reports was invited for a 20 minute ride. So how was it?
Quiet. Like, so quiet that the loudest part of the bus was not the electric motor, but the air conditioning compressor. Without the A/C/ running, BYD claims the K9 can drive an average of 155 miles a day before needing to be recharged, though BYD has taken its electric bus a lot farther than that in a single 24 hour period. That’s thanks to a fast-charging system, which can charge the K9 in as little two hours, though the 155 mile range is enough for most daily bus routes. The lack of a diesel motor may encourage more interaction between individuals, though these days people can be anti-social with no help from noise pollution at all.
Portland will run the K9 electric bus for 8 days total this month to test it out, offering free trips to city residents who want to check it out for themselves. BYD is already working on contracts with cities in California, among other places.
As for Portland’s commitment beyond this test, its hard to say. Will BYD convince Portland to buy a few of these electric buses for themselves?