Berkshire-Hathaway-Backed BYD, the world’s leading eBus manufacturer, has commenced delivery of Europe’s largest ever single order for electric buses to Keolis Nederland BV, the Dutch subsidiary of global public transport provider, Keolis.
An initial 246 BYD low-floor eBuses – part of a total order for 259 vehicles – are now with Keolis Nederland and have entered service on 13th December on routes in Zwolle, Apeldoorn, Ede, Dedemsvaart, Vaassen, Harderwijk, and Deventer in the country’s IJssel-Vecht region.
The remaining vehicles are scheduled for delivery and start of operation in Spring, 2021.
The new pure-electric, zero-emissions eBus fleet from BYD will deliver a huge contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Keolis has calculated an annual CO2 reduction of over 15,755 tonnes.
Despite restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the BYD eBus fleet has been delivered on time and according to pre-pandemic production schedules. An extremely efficient production process of the eBuses was achieved by an integrated approach throughout the BYD supply chain and its various manufacturing sites, including the BYD Hungary eBus production facility.
The Keolis fleet comprises BYD’s 12-metre and 13-metre eBus models. The 13-metre model benefits from BYD’s new upgraded battery technology to provide extended range and ‘city-to-city’ capability. The majority of the Keolis order – 206 vehicles – is made up of BYD’s best-selling 12-metre model. All 12- and 13-metre models feature DC Combo 2 and pantograph charging capability.
All vehicles are equipped with ambient lighting, USB charger ports and soundproof floor cover. In addition, the 13-metre models boast seats with the MMC (Multimedia Control) to offer unparalleled passenger convenience, including a reading light, a phone holder and a folding tray.
Safety and driver comfort are also boosted with bird-eye-view cameras providing the driver with a 360o view of the bus; plus an electric driver’s seat with memory card stores seat positions for multiple drivers and allows quick and easy automatic adjustment.
Marc Renouprez, interim CEO at Keolis Nederland, is delighted to be introducing the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, “With BYD in support,” he said, “Keolis is helping the transport authorities in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel in their green transition by deploying this e-fleet, making the IJssel-Vecht region a healthier place to live and work in. It is therefore a momentous milestone for Keolis, but also for our passengers, our PTA partners and the region.”
“We selected BYD thanks to excellent previous experience of the eBus product in our current regions the province of Utrecht and Almere city. The vehicles meet with the full approval of our passengers and our staff – and that’s very important. We have full trust in BYD’s expertise as a manufacturer in developing and maintaining BEV technology, and we were also confident that BYD would ensure the fleet delivery was executed on time.”
“This is a proud day for both BYD and Keolis,” said BYD Europe Managing Director, Isbrand Ho, “we have devised a total transport solution with New Energy technology at its heart. This fleet represents a step-change for public transport in the Netherlands; the start of what is a massive contribution to reducing carbon emissions in the country. The future of public transport has taken a significant step forward today,” he said.
A Profitable EV Company
BYD recently reported a net profit of 1.66 billion yuan (roughly 242 million U.S. dollars) for the first half of 2020. The net profit rose 14.29 percent over the same period in 2019.
Through June 30, BYD had revenue of 60.5 billion yuan, down 2.7 percent year on year, according to BYD’s financial report filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Despite the global pandemic, BYD projects 2.8 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan of net profit in the first three quarters of this year, which would be an increase of 77.86 percent to 90.56 percent from the same period of 2019.
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 twenty-fold.
© 2020 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.