Are electric buses the future? That’s the hope of BYD, a Chinese company that manufactures and sells all-electric cars, and is interested in building and selling all-electric buses in the United States.
The BYD K9 electric bus has a driving range of 155 (249 km) miles under urban conditions, and 190 (306 km) miles under optimal highway conditions. That’s more than enough mileage for the average urban bus route.
BYD claims that K9 charges in six hours using a standard electrical outlet, or half the time using a fast-charging unit (though that seems more than a little optimistic to us). According to BYD, its power consumption is less than 100 kWh for every 60 miles (96 km) it travels, and it can attain a top speed of just 27 mph.
It is equipped with a roof-mounted solar panel that helps to charge the battery bank, and the BYD K9 electric bus is equipped with 27 regular passenger sets (excluding the driver’s) and 4 foldable ones.
BYD is the company that gained plenty of attention in 2008 when Warren Buffet purchased a 10% stake in it for $230 million. Michael Austin, who is the vice president of BYD America presented the news to WardsAuto, and he added that the location for the factory has not yet been decided, however, it appears that California is on the table.
“Clearly, there are a lot sensitive negotiations that must go on before any of that happens,” said Austin.
According to Wards Auto, each of these K9 buses will cost $550,000 to $600,000 (€417,000 to €455,000). That’s a lot of money, but the fuel and maintenance savings could potentially save municipalities that employ electric buses tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the vehicle. A K9 demonstrator is currently employed as a car-rental shuttle for Hertz at the Los Angeles International Airport. Tokyo, Japan is also currently testing a smaller electric bus, and GE is hoping to begin selling an electric bus of its own design in the near future.
Hopefully this won’t fail as past BYD projects did. Is America ready to get on board with electric buses?
Source: Wards Auto