Metro Magazine

AUG 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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As transit agencies continue to look at ways to both improve their environ- mental footprint and save money, the interest in all-electric buses has steadi- ly increased. Capitalizing on that growth, BYD intro- duced its all-electric vehicle to the market a few years ago, garnering interest in sev- eral cities, including Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is set to take delivery of 25 BYD 40-foot buses In late May, BYD's all-electric 40-foot bus completed the Federal Transit Ad- ministration's "new model bus testing program" at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center in a fast 116 track days. Additionally, the company opened an electric bus factory in Lancaster, Calif., in April, at which time it rolled out the frst 40-foot bus built at that facility. Te event featured several dignitaries, including Gov. Jerry Brown, who called the open- ing "a harbinger of great things to come." METRO Magazine recently spoke to BYD's President Stella Li about the ve- hicle's technology and the company's future. METRO: WHAT SETS BYD'S BUSES APART FROM OTHERS ON THE MARKET? Li: There are several differentiators in our buses, which set us apart from our competition and make it less expensive for customers reducing infrastructure investments. One is that the battery can last over 12 years, and with one charge, can pro- pel the bus up to 24 hours and go for over 150 miles. Te second is that our in-wheel motors replace the clutches, drive-train and transmission that our competitors all use, so you save a lot on maintenance costs, reducing the components that can fail while increasing efciencies, all in a zero-emissions bus. Finally, we embedded the charging technology into the bus — multi-using the regenerative braking inverters. Our concept is we want to make our green bus of the future as easy to use as your cell phone. EXPLAIN THAT CONCEPT. Sure. If you think about the way we use electricity, an Alternating-Current (AC) charging infrastructure for our buses is everywhere; all you need is a plug. For our charger, you just need to plug 480- volt, 3-phase AC directly into the bus with a small power interface, which makes it very cheap to implement the charging infrastructure; it only costs about $8,000 and that is mainly for the mechanical war- ranty costs. Because of all this, and the fact that our bus is the only one on the market that has such a long range per charge, I believe our bus is the wave of the future. THERE HAVE BEEN PLENTY OF AGENCIES THAT HAVE TESTED YOUR BUSES, WHAT ARE THE RESULTS AND WHAT HAS THEIR FEEDBACK BEEN? So far, every agency that has tested our bus has had a positive experience — they have been quite pleased. I believe that allowing agencies to test our buses has improved their confdence, especially because this is a very conserva- tive industry. Agencies have pressure to guarantee daily service, and if they expe- rience issues in doing that, it's a real prob- lem. So, reliability is incredibly important. We understand the pressure transit agen- cies are facing, so as a company our mis- sion is to develop robust technology that is as simple and reliable as possible. HAVE YOU MADE CHANGES TO YOUR BUSES AT ALL AFTER RECEIVING FEEDBACK FROM THE AGENCIES THAT HAVE TESTED THEM? We have made confguration changes and improved durability based on feed- back, but from a technology standpoint, our research and development has been strong from the beginning. HAS THE BATTERY TECHNOLOGY IMPROVED SINCE YOU'VE INTRODUCED THE BUS? Not the BYD Iron-Phosphate 60 < m ETRO m AGAZINE AUGUST 2014 transit business BYD passes Altoona Testing, set to make big leap into the market BY ALEX ROMAN, MANAGING EDITOR BYD plans to introduce several new models over the next couple of years ranging from 26 feet to 45 feet, as well as an articulated model.

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