BYD, the world’s largest producer of pure electric buses – 10,000 have been produced so far – has made an important step in its plan to introduce its zero emission products in France.
It has secured a six-month trial of one of its buses with internationally renowned public transport operator RATP.
The bus will begin operation in September this year and will run until February 2017 – so spanning the extremes of hot and cold temperatures in the French capital. The trial will include operation on routes 21 and 147.
An agreement covering the trial was signed today at the Transports Publics 2016 event taking place in Paris. It was signed by Madame Elisabeth Borne, CEO of RATP, and Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe.
Mme Borne said: “The conclusion of this new agreement shows the ambition of RATP to become a major player in the energy transition of the public transport sector. We wish to test a maximum of vehicles before launching massive tenders from 2017. With great support from STIF, the Paris metropolis will become the first in the world possessing a fully ecologic bus fleet.”
Mr Ho commented: “This is a significant step for BYD since France and in particular Paris is recognised as a public transport thought leader globally. We heard of the tremendous commitment to improving air quality by both the French government and the Paris regional government when we attended the UN’s COP21 discussions here last December. Now, we are delighted to be contributing one of our buses to the trial programme underway in the city”.
In the French national political context, an “Energy transition law” is influencing the change to cleaner vehicles. Indeed, from 2020 all public transport organisations will have to plan in their fleet renewal to purchase at least 50% of clean vehicles.
The Project “Bus 2025” consists of the renewal of the complete RATP fleet to clean vehicles. Several milestones are in place to achieve this by 2025 when the fleet should consist of 80% electric buses and 20% CNG buses. This plan is unprecedented, since it concerns the entire RATP bus network in Île-de-France, one of the largest in the world. It has 350 lines and transports each year 1.1 billion passengers with a fleet consisting of 4,500 vehicles. The issue is especially important, since buses represents 50% of the carbon footprint of the RATP.
BYD’s 12m ebus, which will be used in the Paris trial, has been proven in similar pilot studies in over 150 cities worldwide, and will form Europe’s largest full size pure electric bus fleet when 51 enter service in London later this year. BYD is in the process of introducing a full range of electric buses – ranging from an 8.6m midi bus to an 18m articulated bus and a double decker. The world’s first pure electric coach was premiered in Paris earlier this year.
BYD France is now in operation under the direction of industry experts Bertrand Berger and Julien Bahri.