LONDON, England – Chinese President Xi Jinping took time out from his historic State visit to London today to view the first pure-electric, double-decker bus making its world premiere appearance in London.
Escorted by BYD’s Founder and Chairman Wang Chuanfu and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, President Xi boarded the bus designed and built by BYD and will be in revenue service soon on London streets. The new bus emits no pollution or emissions and was developed after the Mayor of London challenged Mr. Wang and BYD to develop a vehicle which many experts said was not technically feasible – an electric double-decker bus. Two years later BYD 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 partnership to build buses together which has the potential to generate £2 billion sales for the two companies in the next 10 years. Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe said, “This event underscores that the era of electric buses has arrived. We have proven battery electric technology as demonstrated in this new double-decker, transit bus. In ADL, we have an outstanding and experienced bus building partner. Together we can supply bus operators with the products they need.” The new double-decker 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 lower-cost, off-peak electricity.
London has a 9,000-strong bus fleet carrying 6.5 million passengers a day, more demanding than Paris and New York combined. Two BYD single-decker, electric Transit buses have been in successful trials with Go-Ahead on two TFL routes for almost two years and recently BYD secured an order for a further 51 electric buses for operation by Go-Ahead.
The order marks the first stage of a partnership between BYD and Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) –BYD providing its battery and electric chassis and power-train technology and ADL, its strong experience in bus bodybuilding – with final assembly of the complete buses being carried out at its Falkirk, Scotland plant. The partnership was signed during today’s event bringing the two companies closer together.