BYD delivers electric double-deckers to Metroline

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The first of five new BYD electric double-deckers was unveiled at City Hall in London
The first of five new BYD electric double-deckers was unveiled at City Hall in London

The first BYD pure electric double-decker buses, especially designed and developed for Transport for London (TfL), have arrived in London.

A ceremony was held at City Hall, where Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz, formally received the first of five buses from Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe.

The vehicles will shortly be entering service on Route 98, operated on behalf of TfL by Metroline. BYD is working with TfL and Metroline on driver training and the installation of fast charging equipment at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London.

The vehicle is 10.2m long, features full air-conditioning and offers seats for a total 54 passengers, with a further 27 standees spaces for a total capacity of 81.

The BYD Iron Phosphate batteries deliver 345kWh of power and can run for up to 190 miles of typical urban driving, according to SORT test conditions. Recharging takes four hours and can be completed overnight using low-cost off peak electricity.

Isbrand Ho explained: “The Mayor of London challenged us, saying that he did not believe an electric double decker was technically feasible, but we took up the challenge and in less than two years created the bus Londoners can see today.

“This is not a hybrid bus but a totally emissions free product which will give London a world leading position in its efforts to improve air quality”.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director for Surface Transport, said: “BYD is a brilliant supplier. It leads the world in electric bus technology and we thank them for their efforts to make this new double-decker a reality.”

Two pure electric BYD single-deckers have been in successful trial service with Go-Ahead on two TfL routes for almost two years and recently BYD secured an order for a further 51 single-decker electric buses for operation by Go-Ahead.

The buses, due to enter service later in 2016, are being developed in collaboration with Alexander Dennis Ltd which will undertake final assembly at its plant in Scotland.