BYD bus with 532 kWh battery may be next London red bus

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BYD is believed to be on the verge of winning the competition to replace the New Routemaster bus in London, UK. Today the bus in the running, the BD11, launched at the London Bus Museum.

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The new double-decker bus is powered by a 532 kWh Blade battery which should be good enough for a range of around 640 kilometers (400 miles). This should be more than enough given that most London buses reportedly travel between 100 and 200 miles a day. Energy consumption is said to be 0.9 miles per kWh with the battery having a usable capacity of 457 kWh. The battery is built in to the chassis (CTB) which is said to give an 8% weight reduction, increase range and leave more room for passengers.

Go-Ahead Group who operate buses on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) are said to be on the verge of placing an order for 100 of the buses. According to The Sunday Times the cost of each is £400,000 which is about £100,000 cheaper than UK competitors, the BYD buses will be made in China. BYD previously partnered with UK producer Alexander Dennis and last year celebrated the delivery of its 1500th bus in the UK but the partnership has since broken up with both partners going it alone, after the delivery of more than 1,800. BYD however stress that 34% of the components used in the BD11 are sourced from Europe.

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The BD11 is 10.9 meters long with a wheelbase of 5.44 meters. Meanwhile width is 2.55 meters and height 4.3 meters. Depending on configuration it can carry up to 90 passengers. It is powered by two 150 kW in wheel motors which help increase cabin space and aid the 8.0 meter turning radius. Charging can be via an optional 500 kW pantograph (overhead) or via the standard charging ports. Like BYD cars it is possible to attach more than one charger at a time to boost charging speed. The pantograph charger can charge the bus from 0-100% in two hours. Single decker and lower provincial double-decker versions of the BD11 are set to follow.

The New Routemaster, also known colloquially as the Boris Bus, were introduced in 2011 and are a double decker diesel hybrid. TfL plans to phase out the buses over the coming years in order to reach its goal of an all-electric bus fleet by 2030. Currently BYD seem in pole position but political pressures may yet mean a U-turn or that the Chinese buses only make up part of the fleet.

Sources: Autocar, City AM, Route One,

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