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London begins trials of BYD battery-electric buses

Transport for London (TfL) and bus operator Go-Ahead London have begun a trial of the city’s first two battery-electric buses. The 12-meter single deck buses were built by Chinese manufacturer BYD Auto Ltd.

Routes 507 and 521 will trial the new buses as the technology is particularly suitable for busy short commuter services which operate between Victoria, Waterloo and London Bridge stations.

The trial will be used to establish whether the technology can stand up to the rigors of operating in an intense urban environment such as London and will help TfL develop plans for greater use of electric buses in central London in the future.

The manufacturer’s tests demonstrated a potential running cost saving of around 75% compared to a diesel bus.

The buses take around four to five hours to fully charge overnight and should have a range of 250 km (155 miles), which would be sufficient to operate these buses for a full day on these routes without the need to recharge.

In addition to the two buses in this trial, six additional electric buses will be introduced into the TfL fleet in early 2014. Four of the buses were secured with funding from the Department of Transport (DfT) Green Bus Fund with a further two funded from TfL’s technology demonstration budget.

Around 600 hybrid buses now operate on the capital’s roads, including the New Routemasters, with more being introduced in a rolling program. By 2016 there will be more than 1,700 hybrid buses in service on London’s streets representing 20% of the total bus fleet.



If they can do the job in some of the places they are already running, where it can get very hot and cold, then they should easily cope with London.

Running costs if the need to replace batteries periodically is included are much higher than this article indicates though.

The damage fumes do to health, coupled with the massive fines from Europe London will incur if they don't stop breaking air quality limits, will make this a well worth while enterprise in my view though.


BYD is taking a significant lead and their city e-buses and e-taxis are already being tested or in full operations in 20+ cites.

Competition will ramp up by 2017/2018.

By that time, BYD will mass produce and distribute their second (improved) generation?

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