Alcoa develops new all-aluminum space frame and design for BYD electric bus; 40% weight reduction, 10% range extension
Alcoa has developed a new all-aluminum space frame and bus design for BYD that has reduced the weight of the new BYD Electric Bus body by 40%—or nearly one ton—versus steel options. The first two new BYD Electric Bus prototypes were launched this week in Changsha City, Hunan Province, China.
|New BYD Electric Bus. Click to enlarge.|
In addition to reducing the weight of the bus body, Alcoa solutions—including Alcoa forged wheels and Huck Spin fasteners—reduced the overall bus weight by 1.2 tons in total. The combined weight savings are expected to help improve the overall range of the electric bus by at least 10%. The new bus has a range of approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) on a full charge.
BYD plans to produce thousands of the electric buses for the China and Southeast Asia markets and will also export the buses globally. Alcoa will be the exclusive supplier of the new bus design as well as sheet product from its Bohai rolling mill in Qinhuangdao, Hebei. Alcoa will also be the exclusive supplier of forged aluminum wheels and fasteners to the project. Additional terms were not disclosed.
In January 2011, BYD launched testing of a fleet of all-electric 12-meter buses in Shenzhen and Changsha. (Earlier post.)
The new bus design builds on Alcoa’ capabilities in safe transportation design, including automotive and ground transportation space frame technologies for brands such as Ferrari and Audi, among others.