Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, is having a visit tour in the UK recently. He took time out from his State visit to London to view BYD’s pure-electric, double-decker bus serving the city’s transit. BYD’s Founder and Chairman Wang Chuanfu and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge escorted the tour.
The new bus emits no pollution or emissions and was developed after the Mayor of London challenged Mr. Wang and BYD to develop a vehicle which many experts said was not technically feasible – an electric double-decker bus. Two years later BYD delivered on the challenge. It was the double-decker buses’ premiere appearance in London when being visited by President Xi.
Also present at the ceremony at London's Lancaster House was Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL). BYD and ADL announced a partnership to build buses together which has the potential to generate £2 billion sales for the two companies in the next 10 years. The new double-decker bus can carry 81 passengers and is fully air conditioned. It will be able to complete up to 190 miles in city traffic conditions on a single charge, allowing recharging (which takes just four hours) using lower-cost, off-peak electricity.
Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe said, "This event underscores that the era of electric buses has arrived."
London has a 9,000-strong bus fleet carrying 6.5 million passengers a day. Two BYD single-decker, electric Transit buses have been in successful trials with Go-Ahead on two TFL routes for almost two years and recently BYD secured an order for a further 51 electric buses for operation by Go-Ahead. The order marks the first stage of a partnership between BYD and ADL – BYD providing its battery and electric chassis and power-train technology and ADL, its strong experience in bus bodybuilding – with final assembly of the complete buses being carried out at its Falkirk, Scotland plant.