There is now pretty much no way to deny it – BYD out of China rules the global electric bus market. Why do I say this? Sheer number of deployments and test pilots around the world – that’s why! When we last looked in on what this company was doing in this space, it had just announced it is testing one of its buses on a busy route in Warsaw, Poland. Less than a month later and now it has scored what’s being called Europe’s largest zero-emissions, electric bus contract to date. This is on top of recently establishing electric bus manufacturing plants in California.
BYD said 35 electric buses will be brought onto the grounds of one of Europe’s leading airports – the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport – by July of next year to replace an aging fleet of conventionally powered buses. There they will be used to transfer passengers between the terminals and aircraft, and are part of a initiative called SUBSS Project (SUstainable Bus System Schiphol), which aims to
provide a new generation of emission free airside transfer vehicles which will enhance the airport’s image with passengers and airlines, reduce bus maintenance and management costs and improve air quality by reducing the emission of CO2 and NOx.
The BYD ebus includes a variety of more environmentally friendly technologies, such as Iron-Phosphate (or “Fe”) batteries, in-wheel hub motors and regenerative braking. The battery in particular is something of pride for the company, as it reportedly “is fire-safe and non-polluting: there are no caustic materials contained in the battery, no toxic electrolytes or heavy metals and can be recycled or safely disposed of.”
Currently, around the world, more than 250 BYD ebuses are said by the company to now be in passenger carrying operations, and this is “by far the largest number from any bus brand.” Besides Warsaw and the Amsterdam airport, other orders have been “awarded in China, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Uruguay, Canada and the United States. The BYD electric bus has also been successfully tested in many cities in Europe including Madrid, Barcelona, Budapest, Salzburg, and etc.”
As for why some much business is going BYD’s way, consider this – the accumulated mileage of 200 electric buses already operating in the city of Shenzhen (China) alone is said to have exceeded 17 million kilometers (10.5 million miles) as of the end of this past June. BYD, which has its European headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is also involved in global deployment of electric taxis.
“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be the first airport in the world making bus transport at airside electric,” said Jos Nijhuis, CEO & President Schiphol Group, in a statement. “The switch to electric buses will help us in creating a healthier and more pleasant environment for travellers and employees alike.”