BYD Unveils First California-Made Electric Bus

MAY 1 2014 BY MARK KANE 8

AVTA Executive Director Julie Austin in front of the new BYD bus

AVTA Executive Director Julie Austin in front of the new BYD bus

On April 28, BYD Motors held a memorable event in Lancaster, California, where the Chinese manufacturer unveiled the first California-made, all-electric, long-range (up to 155 miles), 40-foot rapid transit bus.

State of California Governor Jerry Brown visited BYD Motors’ new facility with more than 60 new jobs. This number should increase to 100 by year’s end and to 200 by the end of 2015.

The first two electric buses will go to Antelope Valley Transit, which now for several weeks will be testing them before paying customers get a chance to ride.

City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris stated:

“The City of Lancaster strongly believes in the importance of building solid private-public partnerships, such as our ongoing relationship with BYD. Together, we were recognized internationally for our innovative solar programs at the 2012 World Energy Globe Awards. BYD continues to bring much-needed manufacturing jobs to our community, having already brought more than 60 new jobs to our region. We look forward to their continued growth, and the resulting economic prosperity they bring to the Antelope Valley and the State of California.”

CEO of BYD Motors, Stella Li remarked:

“This event is truly historic with the unveiling of the first California-made, all-electric, long-range, 40-foot rapid transit buses lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge. BYD has a long and solid commitment to provide zero-emission, superior technology transportation vehicles in the United States. We are starting out here in Lancaster, California, with the goal of providing clean energy electric buses, throughout the United States creating even more jobs for Americans. BYD is proud to deliver this breakthrough environmentally friendly technology to California.”

California Governor Jerry Brown attended the event and stated:

“This is a small beginning – a few buses – but it holds the promise of something very big and very important.”

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8 Comments on "BYD Unveils First California-Made Electric Bus"

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So city busses likely average 30 miles an hour during the day, considering stops and traffic. Thats some 5 hours of range, not quite the whole day. If BYD adds some quick charge stuffs fed overhead at a few stops, that could be all day service. Anyone know about how much a diesel bus drinks, and about what the price increment is for this bus?

It could actually make financial sense…

The “up to 24 hours” statement is from actual trials of BYD buses in Barcelona and on their bus network.
Innercity buses will generally not get close to averaging 30mph but that is what trials are for, seeing how long the buses can go on the local routes and conditions.

The good thing about puclic transport is that you know what the vehicles are supposed to do and where they will go and for how long so it’s easy enough to plan so that the buses get a fast charging stop or something like that if needed. Or just puting the bus on the routes it can handle in a day.

Every study I’ve seen shows that the electrified buses makes financial sense and that faster than generally thought and expected. But as usual, the local conditions need to be evaluated financially too.

30 miles per hour is not even close to reality for city buses.
An example from the X11/berlin/germany: The total length of that very long route is 23.5 km. This express bus with fewer stops needs 69 minutes on average for one tour, that’s an avarage speed of 20.5 km/h or 12.8 miles per hour. A regular bus line would stop about twice as often, reducing the speed even more. Your average over the day is even worse, because there are resting brakes after every turn. While this can vary a lot depending on your route you should expects results in the order of magnitude around 10 miles per hour. You can still charge at resting brakes to further increase the duty time.

They are making all these busses with 60 people?

Way to go Warren!!

With that paint job, I think it’s just missing a peace sign inside the “O”. hippies 🙂

(I kid. Nice job BYD. Charging rate? Inductive?)

I would assume 1/4 to 1/2 mile per kWh? Even though that seems low.. It would only be $4 for 20 miles at 10 cents/kWh. Which would be way better than some cars. Just… Guessing.. Could be much worse efficiency than that. 1/4 mile per kWh would be $4 to go 10miles which is still better than some pickup trucks.

I was pretty close on my guess. These buses run a 324kWh battery and achieve around .50 miles/kWh, hence the 155 mile range. Not bad at .10 cents kWh, that would be the equivalent of driving a 20mpg ICE vehicle at $4/gallon

I wish it was an American manufacturer so that the engineering was being done here too, but these BYDs seem like so much better of a concept than the competition.

Instead of using new and untested fast-charging techniques, which would require installation at several bus-stops and would require using more expensive on-peak electricity, they just stuff them with a large enough battery to make them run all day. Now their entire infrastructure is one charger per bus at the bus garage.

A city can get started by installing a single charger, buying a single bus, and running their normal route with virtually no training. That’s smart. I’ll bet that my city of Madison, WI is looking into these already, with the optional diesel heater for the winter of course. 🙂