China-based BYD Motors, which manufactures rechargeable batteries, showed at the recent 2014 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo in Houston it could play a major role in environmentally-friendly transit vehicles. The company unveiled America’s first electric articulated bus, fittingly named “The Lancaster” after the city in California where it was designed and manufactured (see figure).
The Lancaster eBus, a break-through, 60-foot, articulated battery-electric bus, can drive 170+ miles with a passenger load of up to 120 passengers, was in development for almost two years, and is an example of how committed BYD is to the American Rapid Transit markets. "BYD's mission is to create safer and more environmentally-friendly battery technologies. This has resulted in the BYD Iron-Phosphate Battery, a fire-safe, completely recyclable, and incredibly long-cycle technology -- the foundation of BYD's Electric buses. These buses run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with single off-peak charging time of 2-4 hours," said BYD Motors Fleet Sales Vice President, Brendan Riley. “No additional generation capacity is needed to be built to charge our buses at night since the grid is only 40% utilized.”
Figure. BYD's rechargeable iron-phopshate battery powers the world's largest battery-electric vehicle, a 60-foot articulated bus that carries 120 passengers over 170 miles per single electric charge.
“The electric platform is ‘adaptable’ – it becomes cleaner as you do, through the use of renewable wind, water and solar renewable power generation,” added Vice President Michael Austin as he challenged the status quo of those promoting fossil fuels as a clean alternative.
Also on display at the BYD Exhibit was a 40-foot, Battery-electric Transit bus from Antelope Valley Transit Authority. AVTA Board Chairman Norm Hickling noted that the 40-foot bus on the Expo show floor was the only bus, “that drove over 1500 zero-emission miles from Los Angeles all the way to Houston for the Expo under its own power.” AVTA tested BYD buses in the hottest part of the Lancaster summer in August with full air-conditioning running and with 5250 pounds of sand bags to simulate a full passenger load. He further stated, “We drove nearly 100 miles more than BYD advertises -- up to 250 miles per bus charge and we covered almost 750 miles in 24 hours!” The most interesting news about this 1500 mile journey to Texas is that it was completed for “$200 in electricity--the lowest cost trip to the show of all buses.”
BYD is world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, The company’s fire-safe, recyclable, long cycle life battery technology has become the core of their clean energy platform that has expanded into automobiles, buses, trucks, utility vehicles and energy storage facilities.