Route M20 throught Manhattan

Route M20 throught Manhattan

BYD and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced the conclusion of a pilot test on a BYD 40-foot electric bus, held from Aug 25th to Oct 25th.

It took two months for the final report data to be summarized for distribution.

Kevin Ortiz MTA’s spokesman stated:

“The general purpose of the program was to evaluate how an electric bus could perform in New York City’s heavy traffic, whether the electric bus can meet the twin challenges of operating in the stop-and-go traffic of Manhattan while maintaining high levels of passenger comfort and operational performance"

Tests were carried out on several different routes throughout Manhattan, including M20, M42, M104, M98, M60 and Bx27 and the ebus covered total distance of 1,481 miles. Typical range was 140-155 miles and charging was done at night in 3-4 hours.

In the press release we read the following:

"The BYD all-electric bus “performed excellent” with an average battery consumption of 1.4 miles per % SOC, translating to over 140 miles per full charge in heavy traffic. The average speed of electric bus was ~4 miles per hour under Manhattan’s heavy traffic."

"After two months of running, the electric bus’s average battery duration was 0.3 hours per % SOC, translating to 30 hours of operation per full charge, as opposed to other competitors that require en route recharging every 2-3 hours during peak-rate times. These uninterrupted operational hours are more meaningful in a busy city like New York, as routes and speeds travelled tend to be short in distance but long in duration."

BYD states 30 hours of operation per full charge. However, we must remember that in the winter, with heat on, this time will drop significantly. Just 10 hours of using a 10 kW heater (we don't know what is the heating power is in the ebus) would consume 100 kWh, which is one-third of the battery pack size and this does not include drivetrain consumption. But in moderate temperatures, 30 hours could be achievable.

Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus and SVP, MTA NYC Transit’s Department of Buses remarked:

“This test continues the MTA’s commitment to examine newer, cleaner and more efficient bus propulsion technologies.”

The Chinese manufacturer listed some advantages of its electric buses:

BYD Electric buses provide several advantages over conventionally powered buses;

  • Improved air quality and reduced green-house-gas (GHG) emissions.
  • BYD buses that are connected to power-interfaces can dispatch power back to the grid (bi-directionally) in case of an emergency or for optimized grid utility.
  • BYD buses do not have an internal combustion engine or transmission and many other conventional components, therefore much less has to be replaced or refurbished every year reducing maintenance costs (and labor) significantly.
  • Regenerative braking recovers braking energy, recharges batteries and reduces normal brake-pad wear and maintenance.
  • Expected operating-cost-per mile of an electric bus is ~$0.20 to $0.30, compared to $1.30 per mile on an equivalent diesel or natural-gas powered bus in New York.

Got a tip for us? Email: