Chinese EV-maker BYD’s electric buses are attracting a lot of interest from North American cities. At least two transit authorities in California, and two in Canada, are currently testing BYD buses, with a view to ordering a dozen or so each (meanwhile, the Chinese city of Hangzhou has just placed an order for 2,000).
The latest town to get on board is famously green Portland, Oregon. The city’s transportation authority, TriMet, has begun real-world testing of a BYD K9 all-electric bus, which will be put into full-time duty for eight days. TriMet authorities are particularly interested to learn if the bus can go all day without charging, especially with the AC running at the height of Portland’s summer.
Over the longer term, TriMet is thinking about buying nine all-electric buses (it has not yet decided if BYD will be the chosen brand) and installing inductive charging at bus depots, writes Green Car Reports. The authority has submitted a $5.63-million grant proposal to the Federal Transit Administration. Federal funding requires that buses have more than 60 percent domestic content. According to Phillip Woolen, the company’s North American Maintenance Director, this won’t be a problem for BYD, which recently opened a manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California.
According to BYD, its K9 bus uses 1.92 kWh of energy per mile, and has a range (assuming no AC use) of 155 miles. The 324 kWh battery pack (actually three separate 108 kWh packs, mounted on the roof) can be charged in two to four hours using high-voltage AC fast charging. BYD’s batteries use a proprietary lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry. The packs are assembled in California, using cells from China.
BYD claims its cells should retain 80 percent capacity after 12 years, and 70 percent after 20 years.
Source: Green Car Reports
Image: AVTV/Business Wire