BYD Begins Deliveries of 18 Meter Articulated Electric Buses

JAN 28 2018 BY MARK KANE 21

BYD delivered its first 18-meter articulated electric buses in Europe for Nobina in Oslo, Norway.

The first two vehicles are running on route 31 and 31E, Norway’s heaviest duty routes – carrying approximately 15 million customers a year and approximately 50,000 daily travelers.

BYD 18m Articulated Ebus in Oslo. Picture shows from left to right: Atle Rønning, Norgesbuss; Ruters Bernt Reitan Jenssen, City Council Secretary Einar Wilhelsmsen; Jan Volsdal, Nobina; and Øystein Svendsen, Unibuss

The BYD buses are equipped with large battery packs for all-day service, and overnight charging at the depot. While at the same time, other manufacturers seem to prefer opportunity charging via pantographs and street facilities.

The Chinese manufacturer didn’t release bus specs, but several runs through the day must mean a few hundred kilometers of range (at least 200-300 km).

“The articulated ebuses running on Line 31 and Line 31E operate between Grorud and Tonsenhagen, a distance of 17 to 24 km.”

Managing director of Nobina, Jan Volsdal said:

“We look forward to gaining valuable experience with these climate-friendly and quiet buses. Line 31 is the first route to try such a concept in Norway. In Nobina, we are very pleased to be able to help drive the switch to green buses in Oslo in cooperation with Ruter. This is an innovative contribution to our service in Oslo”.

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe

“We showed off our articulated ebus concept more than two years ago and we are delighted to see it enter passenger-carrying service. Conditions in Oslo are challenging for electric vehicles but we have every confidence that our ebuses will perform well in this heavily trafficked route even in the deep cold of the Norwegian winter”.

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21 Comments on "BYD Begins Deliveries of 18 Meter Articulated Electric Buses"

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“even in the deep cold of the Norwegian winter”.

They better have very good range if they’re going to get from Oslo to somewhere cold.


If they think Oslo is deep cold, I’d love to see their reaction to really cold places in Norway.

The Golfstream tend to make the western part of Norway warmer, and also everything that is close to the ocean.

Go north, or east, to places like Kautokeino or Elverum for example. Those places can be proper cold.

The classic test to see if it’s really cold:

Proper cold is when the wheels (cheap tires) of the cars are not round any longer when you start the car. They need to drive for a while to get the right shape. .. or when you sit in the car, and the foam in the seat feels like concrete. I used to travel to a cabin in the mountains, where we had to bring the car battery with us inside, to be able to start the car when we were going home.
I usually had to start a charcoal BBQ grill under the car too, and let the oil “simmer” for a while before we could start it.
That is proper cold.

In Oslo, it’s more like cold rain and some wet heavy snow once in a while.

Less than one percent of the world’s population lives north of 60 latitude or south of -60. Proper cold would be an outlier.

Cold has nothing to do with latitude. Many parts of the US interior like Minnesota routinely get to -40 or colder.

Cold has MUCH to do with latitude. Local variations don’t make a convincing argument.

Actually, latitude AND altitude. The 2 coldest spots in America are Minnesota and in Colorado.
However, keep in mind that cold sweeps from the poles and can go quite a ways towards the equator while keeping the same temps. I grew up on wis/ill line where we regularly saw -40.
And yet, there are states that have -60F to -80F (-51C to -62C).

That is colder than Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

And BTW, one of those -60F/-51C is located at 40N.

Totally IRRELEVANT! These vehicles are for use in Oslo, until such time as they are tried elsewhere, your reply is a waste of time.

The salesperson from BYD was talking about deployment in Oslo being some kind of example of being able to handle cold winters, but Oslo’s climate is relatively mild.

You mean more than 24 km distant?? Can’t you read?

“The articulated ebuses running on Line 31 and Line 31E operate between Grorud and Tonsenhagen, a distance of 17 to 24 km.”

Some specs…
307kWh battery on the articulated bus, expected to provide 180-230km range, so ~1.5kWh/km, compared to ~0.18KWh/km for a Leaf (city numbers).
Chargers are 80kW.
This is still a pilot, however, smaller buses with smaller packs/range are already in service.

I wonder if resistive heater and body heat cuts it, or if they have liquid fuel heaters?

If they do use resistive heaters for that application/location, whoever made that decision should be sacked!

Pantographs allow smaller batteries, but large batteries give you flexibility. I generally favor the large battery approach, but different routes could favor either.

Cost and weight is an issure here. If you look at how much weight a bus can legally carry when it’s full – it’s next to nothing. If each person weighs more then 70-75Kg and bring with them 5kg of goods, they are over the weight limit. Larger battery means fewer seats, or weight has to be reduced in other ways. Back when I took the bus licence, I drove a tourist bus from Denmark to Spain. With holiday luggage, and sometimes a certain number of fat people we were clearly over the weight limit. I remember being stopped in France, and we had to take out most of the luggage, and send it home with a truck. They were fair with tourist buses, so the fines were not that big. The company did nothing to prevent it, since they wantet the highest number of PAX on each bus to make money. The next year, I was driving a few trips too – and then they had started to weight the luggage of the bus. There was a weight limit for each person. We also had to drive with reduced diesel and water in the tanks, and had to empty… Read more »

Slow charging during night keeps the power plants busy while they can be fast charged during the lunch time when the bus frequency is less. All city buses in the World should be converted to electric, this reduces the city pollution, noise and also reduces operating cost for consumers.

For heat, it may be better to have a small fuel tank (Gas/Diesel/Ethanol) and the fuel can be burned to produce direct heat rather than using electricity. Power plants convert only 1/3 of the heat to electricity and using that to heat means more than 2/3 of the heat energy is wasted.

Tesla bus. Anybody anybody?

Elon missed the boat on that one.

Mmm…Tesla speedboat 😉

Doesn’t make sense, given Elon Musk’s view that there will be autonomous vehicles relatively soon.

Autonomy would lead to downsizing of the vehicles, offering faster, more convenient transit.

I would rather see a minibus, and a van on the same chassis/platform.
. . But that may be a limmited market – since other brands can convert normal vans with good range, if they want to.
But a van with 600-800+ km real world range would for sure stress the competitors, and improve products for every one.

If they were in the bus market, they would compete with proterra.
Of course, being a business too, it would not hurt to have a bus already designed – so they could present a bus ready for production soon, if Proterra started to go after Tesla customers.

And. . being Tesla, I kind of think they would come up with a good technical solution.

. . All right.. I want a Tesla bus too ?