Chinese President Xi Jinping took time out from his historic State Visit to London today to view BYD’s pure electric double decker bus, making its world premiere appearance.
Escorted by BYD's Founding Chairman Wang Chuanfu, President Xi boarded the bus, 100% designed and built by BYD, in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and saw the bus Londoners will be riding on soon.
The new bus emits no emissions and was developed after the Mayor of London challenged Mr Wang and BYD
to develop the vehicle which some experts said was not technically feasible. Two years later BYD has
delivered on the challenge!
Also present at today's ceremony at London’s Lancaster House was Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander
Dennis Ltd (ADL). BYD and ADL announced a major strengthening of their electric bus building partnership
which has the potential to generate £2 billion of sales for the two companies in the next 10 years.
Isbrand Ho, Managing Director, BYD Europe said today: “This event today really underlines that the era of
electric buses has truly arrived. At BYD we have proven battery electric technology, as demonstrated in our
new double decker. In ADL we have an outstanding and experienced bus building partner. Together we can
supply bus operators with the products they need.”
The new bus can carry 81 passengers and is fully air conditioned. It will be able to complete up to 190 miles in city traffic conditions on a single charge, allowing recharging (which takes just four hours) using cheap off peak electricity.
London’s 9,000 strong bus fleet carries 6.5 million passengers a day, more demanding than Paris and New
York combined. 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.
Significantly, the order marks the first stage of a partnership between BYD and Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) – with BYD providing its battery and electric chassis technology and ADL its strong experience in bus bodybuilding – with final assembly of the complete buses being carried out at its plant in Falkirk, Scotland. The partnership was signed during today's event bringing the two companies closer together.