Fetranspor and Rio Bus, the public transportation companies for the state and city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and BYD launched a BYD battery-electric bus into service this week. This is the first pure-electric bus to launch in Rio and is running now on line 249 (Water-Santa Carioca) operated by Matias, the leader of the Consortium Internorte.
The partnership, which aims to test the bus on a regular line for one month, has the support from the City Government through the City Department of Transportation, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (a network of megacities committed to taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) and is currently chaired by Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes.
Rio is one of the three cities in Brazil to test the BYD electric buses from BYD (São Paulo and Salvador have done successful tests already).
Companies in Rio have tested other alternative fuel buses including hybrids, diesel from sugar cane, biodiesel, also CNG buses.
Besides Brazil, the BYD electric bus has been tested since 2011 in several cities around the world such as Los Angeles and New York (USA), Bogota (COL), London (GB), Copenhagen (DEN) and Oranjestad (Aruba). BYD is testing the buses under different traffic and road conditions, terrain, elevations and temperatures to improve bus design.
The BYD K9 model uses BYD’s lithium iron phosphate battery. The batteries are contained in three areas: on the roof, besides the back axles and over the front wheels of the vehicle. The electric motors are built into the wheels of the rear axle, making it more efficient for passenger loading since the floor height can be dropped lower than where conventional bus axles are. The configuration allows recovering energy when braking.
According to BYD, its energy consumption is equivalent to 1.2-1.4 kWh/km, which is around 75% more efficient than conventional buses, making it a lower operating and maintenance costs. The bus holds up to 80 passengers, 29 seated and 50 standing besides the placeholder for wheelchair users, equal to conventional buses.