BYD Auto, Chinese based company, has been threatening to sell and/or produce cars for North America for quite some time.
Originally, the company was to sell the E6, an all electric car with 249 miles of range for under $35,000, in the US market. BYD had said this impressive offering would arrive in
2010 2011 early 2012 mid 2012 late 2012, while adding something like, 'once we get it certified, and when we feel your American charging infrastructure is up to our standards'. Which translates to, its probably not ever going to happen in any meaningful way.
Then a second vehicle to the US market was introduced in the form of the F3DM,which was an extended range vehicle. Think Chevrolet Volt, but much better...because in is build in China, of course. The F3DM (reportedly) had an electric range of 60 miles and could then travel a further 300 miles on petrol. This car would also be coming to the US priced at $28,800 (before incentives). After leasing a small test fleet to the city of Los Angeles, the car was to go on sale in early 2012. But by October of last year, BYD announced they wouldn't sell them at all here due to (once again) the US charging infrastructure. You would think that if the car was an extended range vehicle that the infrastruutre wouldn't really be an...oh, nevermind. Shortly thereafter the announcement it would be delayed, the model was retired completely.
Which brings us to this week:
BYD sold the City of Windsor 10 all electric buses. End of story.
Well, not really. BYD and the City of Windsor "signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 10 buses." That is pretty much the same thing though right? To be fair, just like the E6 and F3DM before it, BYD has actually produced,sold and delivered a few working copies of this bus around the world, but selling a bus in China, is not like selling one in North America. Vehicles here have to be of a certain quality, and have fairly lofty safety standard as well (some might argue are standards are even too high here).
So along with the announcement of the (maybe) purchase of these buses, came the disclaimer that BYD is still in the process of completing FMVSS, CMVSS, and other certification testing in North America this year. And you never know, they might not feel the infrastructure is up to snuff.
Specs on the bus:
The eBus is rated for 155 miles of range in the US, top speed of 62 mph, with an energy consumption of the Electric Bus is less than 100 kWh per 60 miles, and can be recharged used BYD's special system (600 kW) in well under a hour.