BYD has delivered the first two electric buses in South Africa and Southern Africa in general. The vehicles were ordered by Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), the largest public transportation service provider, which first conducted a series of strict tests over several months.
According to the press release, tests were successful so the EVs will join GABS's fleet of more than 1,100 buses.
Gideon Neethling, GABS company engineer said:
“Introducing electric buses aims to respond to the national and provincial governments’ call for reducing carbon emissions. For the first few months, we tested the buses in a range of circumstances without passengers. The aim was to get to know exactly how these vehicles perform before incorporating them into our operations. Testing these vehicles has been a joy for everyone who is part of the project. Each time we carry out a new test or reach a new milestone, the level of excitement increases further,”.
GABS deployed the two BYDs in Cape Town, Western Cape province. With a range of up to 320 km (200 miles) and a capacity of 40 passengers, the buses will operate during the local rush hour, carrying passengers between Retreat (suburb) and Cape Town.
Previously, BYD delivered electric buses also to Mauritius, Egypt, which means that the electrification of Africa is slowly starting. Globally, BYD sold buses to more than 300 cities in more than 50 countries.
The highest number of electric buses was sold in China (cumulatively, a six-digit number). In Europe, the electric bus market is reaching thousands a year.