BYD wins Schipol Airport contract for 35 ebus

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Electric buses to replace ageing fleet of specialist vehicles by July 2014

NETHERLANDS BYD is to supply a new fleet of 35 electric buses to transfer passengers between the terminals and aircraft at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The emissionfree BYD ebus models, due to enter service in July 2014, replace an ageing fleet of specialised dieselpowered buses.

The SUBSS Project (SUstainable BusSystem Schiphol) aims to provide a new generation of emission-free at the point of use airside transfer vehicles which will enhance the airport’s image, reduce bus maintenance and management costs and improve air quality by reducing the emission of CO2 and NOx. The order was won through competitive tender against four other established suppliers.

The BYD ebus has completed more than 17m kilometres in passenger carrying services and continues to be evaluated in trials in major cities across Europe. The company’s European headquarters is located in Rotterdam and claims to be rolling out a wide range of pure electric vehicles, including buses and taxis, as part of its Green City Solutions programme. All these vehicles are using the company’s advanced and environmentally friendly iron-phosphate Fe batteries for their power.

The motivation behind the Schiphol SUBSS project is complex. Some of the current buses are approaching the end of their technical service life, mainly because of wear and tear of their fossil fuel engines which rarely reach optimal operating temperatures on short journeys from terminal to aircraft. This results in higher maintenance costs and poor emissions performance. The current buses have also proved to be too big at 14m long and 2.7m wide for the Schiphol airside infrastructure, resulting in regular accidental damage.

The ebus is 12m long and built as an electric bus from its conception – it is not a converted bus from designed for a conventional power unit. BYD says this ensures appropriate weight distribution, through smart utilisation of the battery weight which results in good driveability and handling. The ebus also has a well-developed system of energy recovery, which allows the batteries to be recharged during braking. The ebus can be driven for 250km in heavy city traffic on a single full charge, the Chinese manufacturer claims. A recent test journey in Poland saw ebus achieve 310km using only 69% of its stored battery energy.