The bus world is buzzing over the news that aluminum giant Alcoa’s design for the new BYD Electric Bus reduces its body weight by 40 percent compared to steel options, which should improve the range by at least 10 percent. The new design features an all-aluminum frame, as well as forged aluminum wheels and fasteners. Two prototypes of the corded commuter conveyance, which has a range of about 188 miles, were launched this week in Changsha, China.
China-based BYD makes a unique iron phosphate battery, which it builds into not only buses, but also a 5-seat EV crossover and a plug-in hybrid SUV. The company plans to produce thousands of its electric buses for the China and Southeast Asia markets. A BYD spokesman called the new bus “the best in the industry in terms of emissions, range, safety and performance.”
“It is certainly impressive that we were able to drop more than 1.2 tons from the weight of BYD’s new electric bus compared to steel,” said Alcoa’s Jinya Chen. “However, this design is about more than just weight. The new design is durable, corrosion resistant, infinitely recyclable and expected to increase the range by at least 10 percent and withstand the rigors of everyday city driving.”
Image: BYD Automobile Co Ltd