China-based bus manufacturer BYD announced several nuggets of good news at the recent Transports Publics event in Paris. The company has received orders for 16 battery-electric buses from French operators, and will begin a six-month e-bus trial in Paris. BYD also unveiled a new 12-meter e-bus optimized for the European market.
B.E. Green of Yvelines, near Paris, has ordered three BYD electric coaches and one 12-meter e-bus to add to its 100% electric fleet. The Nedroma Group of Athis Mons ordered 12 BYD electric coaches.
RATP, a state-owned transport agency that operates most of the public transport in Paris and its surrounding Île-de-France region, will begin trials of a BYD 12-meter e-bus in September. RATP, which has a network of 350 lines and a fleet of 4,500 vehicles, plans to convert its bus fleet to 80% electric and 20% CNG by 2025.
BYD showed an enhanced and Europeanized version of its 12-meter single-deck bus in Paris. Improved battery technology means that only two battery packs are necessary, allowing increased passenger space in a typical European layout. The new bus on display is similar to the 35 e-buses now in operation at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Meanwhile, BYD’s new factory in Qingdao, China began production last week. Annual capacity is 1,000 electric buses, and will eventually rise to 5,000, said CEO Wang Chuanfu. The $457-million plant covers 66 hectares, and will also serve as BYD’s export center for electric buses and its R&D center.