BYD keeps rolling out more and more electric buses, especially in Europe. This week, the news is that it just delivered 30 more electric buses in Spain and got an order for 79 electric buses in Sweden.
Madrid’s Electric Bus Entry
The 30 electric buses delivered to the Municipal Transport Company of Madrid, EMT Madrid, follow 15 that were previously delivered to the transport agency.
Although 30 electric buses is a sizable delivery package, we’ve seen much larger order totals in recent years. But Spain hasn’t. This is the largest single order for electric buses in Spain’s history. EMT Madrid received its first 15 BYD electric buses in the midst of the pandemic last year, in May 2020.
Although people have been moving around a lot less in the past year, the initial 15 electric buses have already traveled 300,000 km (186,000 miles), which reportedly means that they have reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 300,000 kg (approximately 660,000 pounds).
The giant EMT Madrid transit agency still has a long way to go. With ~2,000 buses in operation, 45 is just the beginning, representing ~2.25% of the bus fleet. EMT Madrid does have much bigger plans.
“The commissioning of these BYD electric buses sees significant progress towards our key objective in Madrid: the elimination of the diesel-powered fleet by 2023, with 100% of our vehicles running cleanly and within the framework of the current Environmental Sustainability Strategy ‘Madrid 360,’” said Carlos Sierra, Director of Transportation Services of EMT Madrid.
The specific bus EMT Madrid ordered was BYD’s 40-foot eBus, which is the most popular electric bus in Europe. The continent now has 700 of these electric buses on the road. BYD says that this speaks to “their operational productivity and reliability both in the hot, arid conditions of the Iberian Peninsula, and also the extreme cold of northern Scandinavia.” Though, I think any decent electric bus should be able to perform well in all conditions. That said, BYD clearly has the broadest and most documented record.
Sweden Goes Big on Electric Buses
This second story comes from Bergkvarabuss, which placed its first electric bus order with the Chinese automaker — and it isn’t a pilot effort, but a very sizable 79 bus order.
The order includes BYD’s new Class-II 42-foot and Class-II 49-foot models, as well as its 39-foot buses. The first vehicles are supposed to be delivered by the end of 2021.
“BYD has been awarded this substantial new order following Bergkvarabuss’s own successful contract win to supply public transport services in the areas of Söderslätt, Österlen and Nordväst in southern Sweden on behalf of the regional public transport authority, Skånetrafiken,” BYD writes.
Here are more details on the buses Bergkvarabuss ordered: “BYD’s new 90-passenger low-entry 49-foot eBus model — 32 in total for Bergkvarabuss — offers a single-charge range of 400km (SORT-II) from its improved battery capacity. Bergkvarabuss has also ordered 43 of BYD’s latest low-entry 42-foot model. Both of these latest Class-II BYD models feature enhanced comfort and convenience for passengers, including under-seat lighting and additional USB-charging access points. The remaining four eBuses on the Bergkvarabuss order includes the latest version of BYD’s — and Europe’s — best-selling 39-foot model, featuring significant product upgrades which enhance productivity, safety and passenger experience.”
While this is Bergkvarabuss’s first BYD electric bus order, BYD has a long and successful history selling electric buses in Sweden and the broader Nordic region. The company has sold 250 electric buses across Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. In total, BYD says that these 250 buses have clocked 25 million kilometers (more than 15.5 million miles). That also means 27,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided. Furthermore, another 250 have already been ordered in the Nordic region.
Bergkvarabuss seemed particularly enticed by BYD’s new eBus models — or, at least, the agency appreciates them now that it is finally ready to jump into the electric bus arena. “We have been impressed by the latest bus models from BYD and the benefits they offer. We are looking forward to operating the buses in order to contribute to fossil-free public transport in the Skåne region.”
BYD is also happy to land another new customer, especially considering how big the order was. “We are thrilled to have been awarded this very substantial order and we are proud to have Bergkvarabuss as our new customer in Sweden. This is the start of what I know will be a strong and successful partnership with one of the country’s principal bus operators,” BYD Europe Managing Director, Isbrand Ho, noted. “We have a growing presence in Scandinavia and we’re cooperating to very positive effect with public transport operators throughout the region. The Nordic region is leading the way for electrification in Europe, with BYD’s presence now established right across Norway, Sweden and Finland, including the extremely cold far-north. I’m hugely encouraged that forward-thinking PTOs like Bergkvarabuss are looking to BYD first as their eMobility partner.”
Other European Electric Bus News
Other recent BYD electric bus orders and deliveries in Europe were in Turin, Italy; Glasgow, Scotland; Germany; Buzău, Romania; and various cities in the Netherlands. BYD also just started selling electric SUVs in Norway.
However, one of the most interesting BYD electric bus stories in recent months (or even just weeks) in that area of the world was in the UK. BYD UK (BYD produces some of its electric buses in the UK) and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) announced on May 20 that they had produced their 500th electric bus. “The zero emission double decker has joined the fleet of the partnership’s launch customer, Go-Ahead London, as orders for the next 500 BYD ADL electric buses have already been confirmed for public transport operators across the UK,” BYD writes. “BYD and ADL combine their strengths to offer reliable and cost-effective electric buses for operators in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand. Having entered a partnership agreement in October 2015, the partnership delivered its first buses the following summer. Its electric buses for the UK and Ireland are built in Britain, ensuring that investment in cleaner transport benefits communities across the country, as well as the environment.”
Frank Thorpe, Managing Director of BYD UK, said: “We were delighted in 2015 when Go-Ahead London embarked upon their journey towards electrification with us, and we’re even more thrilled today as we celebrate the handover of the 500th BYD ADL electric bus. It’s a very significant milestone, and not only for the BYD ADL partnership. It demonstrates clearly the commitment of the nation’s capital to decarbonization, with eMobility playing an increasingly fundamental role in delivering a cleaner transport system for millions of people. Operators like Go-Ahead London, with the BYD ADL partnership in support, really are leading the charge.”
ADL UK Sales Director, Martin Brailey said: “As we prepare to transition chassis assembly to our UK facilities to deliver a product fully built in Britain, the BYD ADL partnership’s winning combination of class-leading technology and design expertise continues to set the standard for electric buses. This has been made possible by our customers, and none more so than Go-Ahead London, who were the first outside China to convert an entire depot to electric operation with the launch order five years ago and who continue to challenge us to deliver ongoing innovation.”
Any guesses on which European city will next order some BYD electric buses?