Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD, the world’s leading electric bus manufacturer, is gearing up for the switching-on of the world’s first high-power discharge Bus2Grid project at Go-Ahead London’s Northumberland Park bus depot.
Using “Vehicle-2-Grid,” or V2G, technology the project will demonstrate the ability to use energy stored aboard a BYD ADL battery-electric bus to be fed back into London’s power network. Vehicles are recharged overnight when energy demand is low, and tariffs cheaper, with electricity fed back to the grid when demand is high, thus helping to balance the network and increase efficiency.
BYD UK, through its partnership with Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL), is supplying 28 BYD ADL Enviro 400EV double deck eBuses which, using smart technology, will provide bi-directional charging capable of feeding energy back to the power grid.
The project represents a notable contribution from the bus sector towards the UK government’s commitment to deliver “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
With its world-class battery, motor and core technology expertise, BYD has been instrumental in the project from the outset by delivering a total battery-electric bus management solution. Alongside its partners, BYD is the first company in the commercial vehicle sector to provide high-power discharge technology as a V2G capability for electric buses.
The Bus2Grid consortium is led by energy provider SSE Enterprise in partnership with BYD Europe, UK Power Networks and Leeds University. Funding for the project comes from the UK government through its delivery partner, Innovate UK. Further support comes from technology provider, Origami and Transport for London. This consortium has seen excellent cooperation between the automotive industry, the energy community and academia in bringing forth pioneering V2G technology into public transport.
Go-Ahead London’s 28 V2G battery-electric buses from BYD ADL will be part of a total fleet of 120 electric vehicles at what is set to become UK’s largest electric bus garage with overnight charging capability at Northumberland Park. While current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions prevent the setting of a specific “switch on” date, the Bus2Grid project is nonetheless gearing-up for operations to commence in the summer 2021.
BYD, in partnership with Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL), is also a leading player in the UK electric bus market. ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer, the NFI Group Inc. The 28 BYD ADL double decks for the Bus2Grid project are part of a larger fleet order from Go-Ahead London delivered in 2020 comprising 49 Enviro 400EV double decks. There are now in excess of 500 BYD ADL pure-electric buses either delivered or on order with operators across the UK, to date clocking-up over 16 million emission-free miles since 2015.
“We share a vision with our project partners to deliver a cleaner, sustainable future,” said BYD UK Managing Director, Frank Thorpe, “we have a common goal to realize the full potential of eMobility. Soon, we will be actually generating energy for London’s power grid, as well as delivering safe, clean, emissions-free public transport to the nation’s capital. We’re very proud to be part of the project team and to be supporting Go-Ahead London as it begins the V2G project. “This Bus2Grid project also has huge potential elsewhere in the UK,” he said, “it is a movable energy storage system with the capacity to deliver significant quantities of electricity to help balance a city’s power grid and optimize its energy management system.”
Kevin Welstead, EV Sector Director for SSE Enterprise, said: “If we’re going to make real progress in decarbonising transport and hitting climate change targets, we need to optimise the existing flexibility within the energy system.”
“Developing a charging infrastructure that operates in two directions so that batteries can give back as well as take from the grid is an important part of this. Delivering the Bus2Grid project is the next natural step in using smart technology to make bidirectional charging the reality for today’s bus users.”
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value over thirty-five-fold.
© 2021 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.