Here Comes London’s First Zero-Emission Electric Bus Fleet

BYD electric buses come to London
BYD electric buses come to London

Zero-Emission, Single Deck Bus Fleet Using BYD’s All Electric Bus Technology.

BYD Company Ltd., the world’s largest maker of pure electric buses – and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), Europe’s fastest growing bus and coach builder – have formed a powerful new alliance and confirmed a £19 million deal today that will see the introduction of London’s first large-scale, zero-emission, single deck bus fleet. This will also be the single largest fleet of full size electric buses in Europe.

The move follows confirmation by Go-Ahead London that they are to introduce 51 emission-free, pure electric buses on routes 507 and 521, which operate between Waterloo and Victoria.

The vehicles will be built on BYD chassis and powered by BYD’s technology-leading electric drivetrain. All 51 buses will be bodied by ADL, incorporating their market-leading Enviro200-like midi bus design. The Enviro200 is the world’s best-selling midi bus and renowned for its lightweight, easy access, maneuverability and fuel efficiency.

The BYD electric bus design

The BYD electric bus design

Go-Ahead London said today that it expects to introduce all 51 of the revolutionary new vehicles into service by August 27, 2016, signaling the introduction of London’s first, large-scale pure electric bus fleet. The move follows an announcement from Transport for London (TFL) earlier this month that it would electrify central London routes 507 and 521 as part of its drive to make all of its single deck buses emission-free by 2020.

The new deal, worth £19 million, includes a full on-site repair and maintenance program for the term of the contract and combines the strengths of ADL’s Enviro200 12m single deck (with 18,000 units sold worldwide) and BYD’s own design of Iron-Phosphate Battery technology and drivetrain system. The latter has been proven to deliver outstanding range and reliability in multiple international markets, covering millions of kilometers of passenger-carrying service.

Passengers board an electric bus in London

Passengers board an electric bus in London

The decision by the two manufacturers to collaborate on this first fleet is a significant step. It brings together the proven, safe and long-range capabilities of BYD’s pure electric buses (the company has 3,500 in service worldwide) with the outstanding and high quality vehicle design and UK build capability of ADL. The resulting vehicles, capable of carrying up to 90 passengers, will offer Londoners some of the most advanced zero emission buses in the world and provide opportunities for the two partner bus builders to work together in the future for the benefit of other bus operators, their passengers and the wider community.

Both BYD and ADL see this latest development as a major step towards bus operations in the UK and around the world making a bold statement and major contribution on which to base clean air initiatives.

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, said:

Working together with our partners and friends at ADL we can provide a truly optimized blend of expertise. Our deep experience of not only battery technology but the critical battery management systems and driveline components necessary to deliver unequalled range and reliability are matched to ADL’s strong track record in building low weight, attractive and durable buses. This combination will deliver a unique vehicle which we believe will have a strong appeal in London and elsewhere in the UK.

Colin Robertson, CEO of ADL, commented:

Technology is at the forefront of everything we do and this unique alliance with BYD represents a quantum leap into the future. Our combined strengths and, critically, the unified aftermarket support we are putting in place to support Go-Ahead London in the long-term, represents a fundamental of our combined business philosophy. The backing of Go-Ahead – in the form of this £19m contract – is a huge confidence booster and we are delighted to have emerged alongside BYD as the preferred bidder in what was a highly competitive process involving a raft of global competitors. I see this new initiative as a major turning point for ADL and our new technology partner, BYD.

Richard Harrington, Engineering Director of Go-Ahead London, commented:

We are delighted to have placed this order with BYD and have every confidence that along with ADL they will deliver exactly what they promise, that is, the world’s most advanced, zero-emission, pure electric bus fleet – and one that will match the rigorous demands of the London operating environment. Go-Ahead is constantly striving to stay at the forefront of technology and to make a major contribution in the reduction of emissions and pollutants. This is a considerable step towards a cleaner, greener London bus fleet.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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