BYD has supplied two electric buses to Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) for service in operation in Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. The two electric buses are the first to be put into operation in South Africa and southern Africa.
As one of South Africa’s largest public transportation service providers GABS operates more than 1,100 buses and has more than 160 years of bus operating experience. Since November 2020, GABS has conducted a series of tests using the two BYD electric buses, which said the outcome was ‘outstanding’ and praised the buses.
“Introducing electric buses aims to respond to the national and provincial governments’ call for reducing carbon emissions,” said Gideon Neethling, Company Engineer at GABS. “For the first few months, we tested the buses in a range of circumstances without passengers. The aim was to get to know exactly how these vehicles perform before incorporating them into our operations.” Gideon said he was very pleased with the results: “Testing these vehicles has been a joy for everyone who is part of the project. Each time we carry out a new test or reach a new milestone, the level of excitement increases further.”
The buses have a capacity of 40 passengers, and a claimed range of up to 320km. The buses are equipped with user-friendly features, including free WiFi and a wheelchair ramp. The initial two electric buses are set to operate during the local rush hour, carrying passengers between Retreat and Cape Town.
South Africa’s Transport and Public Works Minister, Daylin Mitchell said: “After taking a ride in this bus, I am confident passengers will feel safe during their journey.”
“BYD has now completed an all-around new energy industry layout in Africa ranging from clean energy collection and storage to its applications,” said AD Huang, General Manager of BYD Middle East and Africa Auto Sales Division. “Our main business has covered regions such as northern, western and southern Africa after years of efforts and operations since we entered Africa in 2004. With a growing brand influence and an increasingly urgent need for environmental protection globally, BYD’s business is expanding steadily into new energy vehicles including passenger vehicles, electric buses, rail transit, and other areas. The commercial electric buses officially put into operation in South Africa for the first time set a perfect example, which indicates our strength in electric commercial vehicle technology, and shows a paradigm of business cooperation in the new energy sector in the Middle East and Africa.”