By Michael Graham Richard, March 24, 2014
Former transportation secretary Ray LaHood will be happy about this one, since he recently joined an electric bus company and claimed that "EV is the future of transit": An electric bus made by BYD, a Chinese company that specializes in battery manufacturing, operating in Copenhagen, Denmark, drove for 202 miles (325 km) on a single charge, and even after that long drive it still had 8% left on the battery. This is significantly higher than the official range of 250 km (155 miles) and a record for a purely electric bus.
This result exceeds the previous best performance of a BYD ebus during the company's Europe-wide trial programmes. Last year an ebus achieved 310 km using only 69% of total charge between the Polish cities of Warsaw and Krackow.
A second trial of an ebus in Copenhagen with the city's other operator Arriva produced a no less impressive result. The bus completed an arduous full day of city operation – 150km (or 93 miles) from 06:00 to 16:50, operating fully loaded and with the electric heating system in constant use. The bus was then taken on a 90km (or 56 miles) motorway run and again ended up with a 8% charge remaining, covering a total distance of 240 km (149miles) on a single charge.Transit operators everywhere should pay attention to these real-world examples of electric buses performing well. Replacing diesel models with EVs is a great way to reducing operating costs since electricity is a lot cheaper than diesel fuel, and to clean up the air in cities, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
And the beauty is, electric vehicles in general - including buses - are improving fast and getting more affordable, so while they might be getting good enough now, in a few years they will totally outclass old gas-guzzling models, especially if combined with fast-charging stations like these. And as we clean up the power grid (we have no other choice), these EVs will get even cleaner...
Above you can see the inside of a BYD electric bus. Nothing too different from a regular bus, which isn't a bad thing..
Here's a BYD electric bus in operation in Germany.