BYD’s Pure-Electric Buses Hit the Streets in London

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Double-decker buses are synonymous with London, and soon they will be synonymous with clean, pollution-free transportation.

Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. has delivered the first of a fleet of five pure-electric double-decker buses that will shortly be entering service on Route 98 operated on behalf of TfL by Metroline.

BYD is working with TfL and Metroline on an introduction program, which includes driver training and the installation of fast charging equipment at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London.

The 100% BYD designed and developed vehicle is 10.2m long, features full air conditioning, and offers seats for a total 54 passengers with a further 27 standees spaces (total passengers: 81).

The bus is powered by BYD’s Iron Phosphate batteries that deliver 345 kWh of power, and can run for up to 190 miles of typical urban driving according to the internationally recognized SORT test conditions.

Recharging the bus takes just four hours and can be completed overnight using low-cost off-peak electricity. The single charge cycle is expected to be more than enough to handle most daily duty cycles.

“The Mayor of London challenged us saying that he did not believe an electric double decker was technically feasible but we took up the challenge and in less than two years created the bus Londoners can see today,” said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. “This is not a hybrid bus but a totally emissions free product which will give London a world leading position in its efforts to improve air quality.”

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director for Surface Transport, said: “BYD are a brilliant supplier. They lead the world in electric bus technology and we thank them for their efforts to make this new double decker a reality.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares, and today owns roughly 9.1% of the company.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the 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.