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BYD electric bus

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BYD electric bus

BYD electric bus (K9)
Manufacturer Changsha BYD Coach Company, Ltd.
(a Shenzhen BYD Auto Company, Ltd. subsidiary)
Production 2010-present
Assembly Changsha, Hunan, China
Lancaster, California, US
Body and chassis
Class Pure-electric
Body style Transit bus
Engine Wheel hub electric motors
Electric range 250 km
Wheelbase 244 in (6.20 m)
Length 39.37 ft (12.0 m) over bumpers
Width 100.4 in (2.55 m) over body
Height 126 in (3.20 m) over roof battery
Curb weight 30,423 lb (13,800 kg) curb weight

The BYD electric bus or BYD ebus, called K9 in China, is an all-electric bus model manufactured by BYD powered with its self-developed Iron-phosphate battery, allegedly featuring the longest drive range of 250 km (155 miles) on one single charge under urban road conditions. BYD electric bus rolled off line on September 30, 2010 in Changsha city of Hunan province. This pure electric bus is another renewable energy vehicle by BYD following its models like F3DM, F6DM and e6. The K9 has a 12-meter body length and 18-ton weight with one-step low-floor interior for passengers' comfort, reportedly priced at 2–3 million yuan (S$395,000 - S$592,600).[1] It has been running/tested in China and many other countries and regions such as India,[2] Hong Kong, U.S., Colombia, Chile, Spain, Netherlands and Denmark.[3][4][5][6][7] More than 200 BYD electric buses, in public transit service in Shenzhen China, have accumulated over 9,216,000 km (or 5,529,600 miles) by the end of August, 2012.[3]

In both 2011 and 2012, BYD has obtained electric bus orders from various countries/regions across the world, accumulating to 1200 plus units.[8][9][10][11] In order to meet the increasing demands for its electric-driven-only bus, the company extended its production base in Tianjin city of China at the end of July, 2012[12] and probably has such plans in some other overseas regions like Brazil[13] and Windsor of Canada.[14] In May 2013, BYD announced its new electric bus factory in Lancaster, California. The new factory will start production in October, 2013.[15]


Official specifications

BYD's official specs publication on its electric bus includes:

  • Electric power consumption: less than 100kWh/60mins[16]
  • Acceleration: 0–50 km/h in 20s[16]
  • Top speed: 96 km/h[16]
  • Normal charge: 6h for full charge[17][18]
  • Fast charge: 3h for full charge[17][18]
  • Or overnight charging: 60 kW Max.power to fully charge the bus within 5h[17]
  • Range: 155 miles (249 km)[17][18] (186 miles (299 km) according to some reports[18])
  • Length*Width*Height: 12,000mm*2,550mm*3,200mm[19]
  • Standard seats: 31+1 (31 for passengers and 1 for driver)[19]
  • Weight: 18,000 kg[19]
  • Clearance between one-step entry and ground: 360mm[19]

While the parameters above are displayed on BYD's website, two or more versions of this bus have been exposed, say BYD K9A, K9B etc., the specifications of which will surely be different. The two-door version has been in service in China's Shenzhen, Changsha, Xi'an and Shaoguan while its 3-door version has hit the roads in Shenzhen, Bogota[3] etc. for test and demonstration purposes.

Battery and powertrain

BYD electric bus is powered-only by its in-house developed Iron-cell batteries, which have been applied to BYD e6, BYD DESS and its other energy storage items, and is always emphasized as one of the company's core technologies. BYD claims no emission, no pollution from its electric buses and the chemical materials contained in the battery can be recycled without any toxins.[17] As for the power system of this pure electric bus, BYD's self-innovated in-wheel motor drive system which realizes the function of in-wheel motor drive and hub reductor. The max power output is 90 kW*2 and the max torque is 550Nm*2. Solar panels fixed on the vehicle were once reported to provide more power to supplement the on-board batteries and they really were included on BYD's demo units but not those that have been running on the road commercially, such as in Shenzhen and Xi'an for instance.


The bus is equipped with the following items to ensure passengers' comfort and safety:

  • unitary construction body
  • 4-wheel disc brake
  • one-step easy-pass with special footplates for wheelchair access
  • non-step inside

Body and interior design

BYD electric bus interior in Germany.

This 12-meter bus has at least three versions when it comes to the body color(silver, yellow and green) for different markets. In the widely reported and dazzled silver version, the front windscreen occupies two-thirds of the front face of the bus for maximum viewing for the driver.[17] Adjustable leather seating for driver and red and black leather seats for passengers.[16] The battery packs are laid in the vehicle rear or both sides inside the two cabins. The non-step low-pass-aisle is designed for comfortable traveling experience[20]


On November 4, 2012, BYD released its new solution for promoting the sales of its pure-electric vehicle e6 and electric bus at a press conference in Beijing, which is called "Zero vehicle purchase price, Zero costs, Zero emissions" and supported financially by China Development Bank,[21][22] over 30 Billion RMB ($4.6B USD) now being ready for this financial program.[22] According to the scheme specifically targeting the public transmit operators/companies, customers can choose one of three optional operating models which could be most suitable to them. The three models are shown in the following table.[23][24]

Model Financing body Lease period Ownership
Financial Lease Finance Company A complete electric vehicle operational life cycle (e.g. 5 years) During the lease period, the financial organization owns the electric vehicle. The taxi company pays the lease in instalments. After the lease period ends, the taxi company owns the vehicle.
Operational Lease Third party vehicle lease company A complete electric vehicle operating life cycle (e.g. 5 years) or a shorter period (e.g. 1 year) During this lease period and after it ends, the vehicle lease company owns the vehicle. The taxi company and the vehicle lease company sign an operational lease contract for the lease.
Buyer's Credit The Taxi Company The taxi company has ownership of the vehicle. The taxi company pays monthly instalments to the financial institution.

The policy initiate explained the concept of "ZERO COST" by comparing the five-year fees between a fuel taxi and its all-electric cab in Shenzhen city and after a sequence of calculations, it came to the conclusion that "if the car runs for 5 years, and the total saving over 5 years is deducted from the higher cost of the vehicle and the interest on multiple payments, it can save 326,400 RMB.[22][23][24] Besides, the company said if enough miles are done, "the vehicle payment will be entirely offset".[22] BYD also emphasized the "ZERO EMISSION" feature of its renewable-energy vehicles by stating that "an e6 electric taxi saves 14,120 litres of fuel per year, with 32 tonnes fewer CO2 emissions", and "169 million litres of fuel could be saved with CO2 emissions reduced by 38.62 million tonnes per year" if all Chinese taxis were to be replaced with its electric vehicles.[23][24]

Currently, this policy is only available to the Chinese market.[22]

Global launch


BYD ebus fleet in Xi'an city of Northwestern China.
  • 200 BYD electric buses were delivered to the Shenzhen public transmit system to serve the Universiade 2011 taking place in August, 2011 and remained as part of this city's transportation afterwards according to a previous agreement between the city government and BYD. This world's largest electric bus fleet of BYD K9s have reportedly accumulated over 9,216,000 km (or 5,529,600 miles) by the end of August, 2012.[3]
  • 2 BYD electric buses began their trial service in Changsha three months after rolling off the line and 100 K9 pure electric buses are expected to hit the road in Changsha in 2012. Each pure electric bus could save more than 180,000 yuan (approx. US$28,571) per year compared to a conventional fuel-powered bus as reported. Besides, BYD's Changsha facility will produce 20,000 passenger vehicles and 400 pure electric buses this year and the output will increase to 3,000 pure electric buses and 100,000 passenger vehicles next year, which will make BYD the country's leading new energy vehicle company.[7][25]
  • 3 BYD K9s were launched in Shaoguan, Guangdong province in November 3, 2011[4][26]
  • 4 BYD pure electric buses have been put into service in Xi'an since August 2012 and another 46 units are expected to follow up around the end of 2012[4][6]

The test operation of BYD K9 in Haikou city got started in August 17, 2011 and "it performs well" as reported.[27] An agreement between BYD and Tianjin Public Transportation Group Ltd was signed in July 29, 2012 to set up a joint venture and produce new energy vehicles.[10][12] It became the second production base for BYD electric buses in mainland China.

North America

A North American-spec BYD electric bus in New York City.
A North American-spec BYD electric bus as Stanford Marguerite Shuttle
  • The BYD electric bus was rolled out in U.S. at the 16th BUSCON in Chicago on September 13, 2011 and after that, BYD launched its tour and road shows in Omaha, New York, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco in the United States, and Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver and other major cities in Canada.[28] BYD has supplied one all-electric K9 bus to be retrofitted with WAVE’s wireless charging pad under the bus, developed by the Utah State University Energy Dynamics Laboratory, one of the leaders in wireless power transfer for vehicles in 2012.
  • The city of Windsor, Ont. has signed a letter of intent with BYD to order as many as 10 electric buses from the Chinese renewable-energy bus manufacturer in May, 2012 and Transit Windsor plans to add two of those 12-metre electric buses to its fleet by fall of this year.[29][30]

South America

  • On June 20, 2012, BYD Company, together with its Chilean collaborator INDUMOTORA Company, secured a contract with the Chilean ALSACIA Company, one of the biggest operators in Santiago public transport system, for 5 units of BYD electric models K9.[31]
  • It was reported that the all-electric bus company has scheduled a large commercial operation of its K9 in Brazil and also set up a bus production factory there which, however, is not certified by BYD. The mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil confirmed plan to introduce at least 5 BYD electric buses to Sao Paulo by the end of 2012 when he drove BYD's pure battery-powered bus at the Anhembi Convention Center in Sao Paulo in October, 2012[32]
  • At the beginning of 2012, BYD and Buquebus officials signed a contract to begin bringing 500 electric buses from this company into Uruguay. According to Bernama, the first BYD electric buses will arrive in Uruguay before end of 2012 and the target of 500 buses running by 2015.[9][10]
  • BYD entered its all-electric buses in a fuel-efficiency testing program put on in Colombia by the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and InterAmerican Development Bank (IABD), and according to the results issued by the CCI, running against diesel and CNG-hybrid buses on a 12-mile route through Bogota that took between 60 and 90 minutes to complete, BYD’s bus achieved a 7.3 km/liter-equivalent by measuring costs and 11 km/liter-equivalent measuring by energy output, which was the best among the buses tested. Peru has performed road tests to BYD electric bus.[33]
  • A fleet of the 12-meter 80-passenger-loaded BYD electric bus will be delivered to Bogotá and put into service as of Q2 2013 for a trial operation. The first one-month stage of this project is going to focus on testing the e-bus fleet on operational performance, energy consumption during the driving cycle, battery behavior in terms of discharge and recharge cycles, and total energy consumption. The program aims to implement mass-adoption of electric buses in the city of Bogotá.[34]
  • Aruba, the Kingdoms of the Netherlands (located north of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea)[35] plans to use BYD green-technologies to pursue its goal of becoming an emissions-free Nation by the year 2020. The country signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BYD Company Limited, which outlines Aruba’s plans to be the first Nation with a completely zero-carbon footprint and energy independence with only clean sustainable renewable power sources. BYD will place four BYD zero-emission, long-range all-electric buses and one e6 electric taxi, comprising a fleet for public/government use, into service by the end of September 2013.[36]


  • SMRT Corporation Ltd, Singapore's premier multi-modal transport service provider signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2011 with BYD regarding the possibility of establishing a joint venture to distribute BYD’s electric buses and e6 taxis in Singapore.[37][38] But there have been no further updates on this since then.
  • In July, 2011, the BYD Hong Kong Research and Development Center was put into operation with a group of six engineers, in cooperation with its existing development team. The Kowloon Motor Bus has reportedly ordered 10 buses from BYD and the first unit has arrived in HK in September 2012. The public transit service plans to test run BYD electric buses in three transmit lines before they are confirmed to be approved for formal operations.<[39][40]
  • In December 2013, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bangalore, India has the ownership of K9 model of the BYD buses, and has plans to start operation of the bus from the second week of the month. It is stationed in BMTC’s Shantinagar depot. It is waiting RTO registration and approval. For three months it will be on a testing operation and after that based on how it fairs in congested areas, a decision will be made as to whether to buy more units of the bus. BMTC has the K9D model of the bus. The charging unit will be set up at Kempegowda Bus Station which will need additional 90,000 V [41][42]
  • In March 2014, Bonifacio Transport Corporation (BTC) in Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila, Philippines, contract for 50 buses of the BYD K9, however, since the 2012 last delivered from AMC Tourist Star Rear Engine. The K9 first electric bus in the Philippines, fleet route from BGC. The contract is BYD’s largest order to date from a public transport operator outside of China.

Middle East

  • In August 2012, a contract for 700 electric bus delivery has been completed between BYD and Israeli transit company Dan Bus. The first buses are expected to be deployed sometime in 2012, with more buses gradually joining Dan’s fleet over the next several years. Eventually, Dan Bus hopes to replace about half of its current fleet of about 1,300 buses with the new electric models. Based on the market price of 2.1 million yuan (USD330,000), the contract is estimated to be worth 1.5 billion yuan (USD236.65 million). The contract is BYD’s largest order to date from a public transport operator outside of China[8][11]


BYD electric bus on the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog
BYD electric bus test vehicle in Bonn, Germany

BYD electric bus has been tested in some European countries such as Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Spain and Denmark[3][43] or cities such as Bremen and Bonn, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Madrid and Barcelona,[44] Warsaw (Poland).[45]

  • Denmark's biggest public transport agency Movia said in July 2012 it "will consider introducing more and more" BYD K9 e-buses if they meet its requirements for reliability after BYD launched two K9 e-buses in a two-year trial run in Copenhagen, according to a company statement.[43][46]
  • On March 12, 2012, BYD and a Finland-based transportation company, Veolia Transport Finland Oy, jointly announced that they had reached an agreement for BYD’s K9 all-electric buses operation in Finnish capital city Helsinki. According to their agreement, BYD’s K9 buses would be put into practical operation by Veolia for three years for the purpose of proving the buses performances under the conditions of extreme cold climate in Finland.[47]
  • After a two-week road test of BYD electric bus by the two main Spanish municipal public transportation companies: EMT (Madrid) and TMB (Barcelona), the results turned to be satisfactory according to Bergé Automoción, which distributes this model in Spain.[48]
  • BYD has signed a letter of intent with the city of Frankfurt, Germany to supply the city with three of its battery-powered electric buses and two DC charging stations by the end of the first quarter of 2012. The trio of buses will serve as shuttles at Frankfurt Airport and along public transportation routes that lead to the city's Gateway Gardens.[49]
  • The island of Schiermonnikoog in the province of Friesland, Netherlands will see the introduction of six new, long-range, all-electric BYD buses in early 2013 after BYD scored the highest in meeting program goals and won not only an order for the six buses, but also a 15-year maintenance contract from a European legal tender and open bid supported by four major bus manufacturers.[50]
  • The capital city of Poland, Warszawa (Warsaw), with more than 1.7 million inhabitants, also tested BYD K-9(2013). In the tested model, however, BYD claims about 3 hours of charging time wasn't true, minimal was over 5 hours. 250 km range was the nearest from tested electric buses to expected by local Transport Authority. But there is a requirement of 350 km, to achieve the daily usage of bus, without need to recharge during day.[45]
  • Since 2013 two BYD electric buses are running on two central London routes; said to be first fully electric buses in the capital. Transport for London will purchase six more BYD buses in 2014.[51]
  • Since March 2014, one BYD electrical bus is on test drive in Belgrade, Serbia. Besides BYD, Belgrade Public Transport Company, GSP Beograd (GSP Beograd) has 8 trolleybus lines for more than 50 years. BYD will be tested on route No 26 which is one of the most difficult routes in Belgrade.[52]


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