While several companies are building electric city transit buses, China-based BYD has unveiled what it calls the world’s first electric over-the-road coach bus. The BYD C9 is a two-axle, 40-foot two-axle coach with a seating capacity of 47, top speed of 62.5 mph and range of over 190 miles.
“The transportation industry is still just warming up to the idea of battery electric transit buses,” said BYD VP Macy Neshati. “It was exciting to walk around last year’s APTA Expo in Houston and see so many reputable names displaying an electrified transit bus. However, I don’t think anybody thought they would see a viable electric coach solution for a few more years.”
The C9 uses BYD’s in-wheel drive axle with two 180 kW brushless AC synchronous motors, each of which develops 1,500 N·m (1,106 lb-ft) of torque. The 365 kWh Li-ion iron phosphate battery pack can accept 200 kW charging, for a charging time of less than two hours. BYD projects that battery capacity will remain above 80% after 12 years of use.
The C9 is the first of three battery-electric coaches the company plans to launch globally this year. The other two, a 45-foot three-axle coach named the C10 and a 23-foot coach with executive and transport configurations named the C6, will arrive by the end of 2015, and BYD says it is now taking orders for all three models.
“Last year, BYD pulled away from the competition in the transit space when they launched a 30-foot low-floor bus and a 60-foot articulated bus in addition to their 40-foot bus, making them the only electric bus builder with multiple offerings. This year the launch of three coach buses puts BYD on a level with no other bus or coach OEM,” said Neshati.