Saft and Dietrich Carebus Group (DCG) have signed a partnership agreement at the Busworld Kortrijk Exhibition in Belgium (16-21 Oct., 2015) that aims to equip electric buses manufactured by Yutong, China’s major bus brand, with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for the European market.
DCG is a recognized specialist in the design, distribution and marketing of buses and coaches in France and Yutong’s exclusive agent for France and several Western Europe countries where it will go step by step. Saft is working with DCG to develop Li-ion battery systems that will enable Yutong’s electric buses to meet the needs of European operators in terms of performance and regulations. This partnership agreement, which is the culmination of several months of discussion between Saft, DCG and Yutong, will result in the selection of the battery supplier for volume production.
‘This partnership with DCG is a significant step in Saft’s plans to become a major player in the electric public transportation vehicle sector based on our approach to develop and manufacture fully integrated battery systems as a critical component alongside other high value elements such as the motor and transmission,’ said Xavier Delacroix, General Manager of Saft’s Industrial Battery Group. ‘We look forward to demonstrating to DCG and Yutong that our Li-ion battery technology, which has already been selected by a worldwide producer of commercial vehicles, is the perfect fit for Europe’s demanding passenger transportation market thanks to its unique combination of high performance, safety, durability and reliability.’
The batteries for the Yutong electric buses will be 100 percent developed and manufactured by Saft in France, and installed in buses by DCG in Ingwiller, France. The Li-ion cells and battery systems will be developed in Saft’s Bordeaux facility, utilising the expertise of more than 200 R&D engineers. For series production, the batteries will be assembled at Saft’s Nersac plant, which plays a strategic role in the sustainable transportation sector. This site, in operation since 2008, was the first industrial facility worldwide to produce Li-ion batteries for hybrid automotive serial programs.
Pierre Reinhart, President of DCG, said: "Selection of the battery systems is crucial to the success of Yutong’s electric buses in Europe. We are delighted to be working in partnership with a reputable French battery manufacturer on this project that builds on Saft’s well proven domain expertise in the transportation sector, specifically in the capability to develop bespoke battery systems to meet the technical and regulatory needs of local markets.”