Israel's leading bus operator, Dan Bus Company, today starts operation of the country's first full size electric bus, the BYD ebus.
Dan will be using the bus on Line 5 in Tel Aviv starting today. The operator expects to fully integrate the ebus into its normal operation since its range on a single charge of 250km in normal urban conditions plus the ability to recharge in four to five hours will match its normal service requirements.
The introduction of the BYD ebus – the first full size pure electric bus to enter passenger carrying service – into the Dan fleet is significant since Dan is planning to invest €85 million on electric buses over the next five years, meaning that 25% of its fleet will be emissions free. Dan notes that the maintenance costs for electric buses are 25% lower than for diesel buses, with the price of electricity per kilometre being one third of the cost of diesel.
The BYD ebus is being imported to Israel by Clal Motors, a wholly owned subsidiary of Clal Industries. Use of the electric bus will lead to operational efficiency and tremendous savings in current expenses throughout the life cycle of the vehicle, particular as diesel fuel is not required. Additionally, the electric bus offers important advantages in the city as it is quiet and is virtually non-polluting.
Michael Nagar, Chairman of Dan, and CEO Shmuel Refaeli, said at today's inauguration ceremony: "Today we mark a new era in the vision of public transportation being led by Dan. The quiet and comfort of travel in the electric bus hails a revolution in consumer experience, and we plan on offering this experience to all Dan passengers around the country. We thank Clal Motors and BYD for this strategic cooperation. We wish everybody a safe and quiet ride."
Doron Vadai, CEO of Clal Motors said, "Public transportation based on electric buses is part of Clal's and BYD's vision of the green city, which includes electric buses and cars, generation of electricity through solar energy and use of energy-efficient LED lights. We are delighted to be partners in Dan's implementation of the vision in Tel Aviv."
Isbrand Ho, BYD Europe’s Managing Director, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Dan Bus and Clal Motors to bring our green technology to Israel for the first time. We are confident that our ebus will bring welcome environmental and cost benefits to Tel Aviv’s bus fleet".
Dan currently operates close to 1,300 buses and hundreds of minibuses in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Dan is considered a pioneer in setting urban public transportation standards in Israel and worldwide, with the introduction of the low-floor interior buses to Israel, which over time have become the standard for urban public transportation operators.