BYD TO SUPPLY ELECTRIC BUSES TO CAPE TOWN
Renewable energy technology company BYD has won a bid to supply a fleet of 11 battery electric buses to the city of Cape Town, South Africa. This city aims to become the first city on the African continent to use electric buses for public transport. The city’s transport administration will initially use the easy access 12-metre-long buses as an express service on a 35 to 40-kilometre route between the city’s central business district and the Metro South East region (Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain).
The administration plans to subsequently reassign the buses to Cape Town’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system following completion of supporting infrastructure.
Cape Town aims to reduce carbon emissions through a range of policies that affect households, businesses, the city’s transport system and electricity generation. Its “Energy 2040 Strategy” outlines a plan to increase transport efficiency so that carbon emissions targets are reduced by 3.2 percent by 2020. Transport accounts for 34 percent of carbon output in this city of 3.8 million people.
Previously, BYD supplied photovoltaic modules to one of South Africa’s largest solar farms in Prieska that has a size roughly equivalent to that of 233 football fields. It also delivered the first containerized energy storage system to Johannesburg in February 2015 and home battery storage system B Box to the South Africa residential market in 2016.
BYD’s battery electric bus employs many advanced technologies developed in-house by a staff of more than 16,000 R&D engineers, including the BYD iron-phosphate battery that can sustain more than 80% of capacity even after 4,000 cycles. Combined with BYD’s proprietary in-wheel hub motors and regenerative braking system, the BYD “ebus” offers the lowest life cycle cost of ownership compared to conventional diesel buses.
The BYD ebus delivers a host of operational and environmental benefits for public transit riders, bus operators and residents of the community, including a quiet and comfortable ride without vibrations, jerks, or the noise associated with the conventional buses and combustion engines. The bus can also drive for more than 250 kilometres – even in heavy city traffic – on a single charge.