Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD’s subsidiary BYD UK and their joint venture partner Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) will deliver the UK’s largest ever electric bus order. The order has been placed by RATP Dev London, one of Transport for London (TfL)’s principal bus operators, for a total of 195 single and double deck vehicles.
With this order, RATP Dev London confirms its commitment to supporting TfL’s electrification plan for London’s bus network, a key objective of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy for 2018, under which all TfL buses will be zero emissions by 2037, with all of London’s transport becoming emissions free by 2037.
Deliveries of RATP Dev London’s latest BYD ADL fleet will begin in the summer. 68 BYD ADL Enviro200EV single decks – including 21 compact 33-foot models – and 127 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double decks will be based at RATP Dev London’s Fulwell, Harrow and Shepherd’s Bush depots to serve routes in the west of the capital. The buses will join 36 existing BYD ADL single decks in service since 2018 and 29 BYD ADL double decks delivered last year. Feedback from RATP Dev London on these in-service vehicles has been very positive, with the double deck BYD ADL Enviro400EV in particular delivering exceptional reliability on 24-hour route operations.
BYD is a global leader in batteries, energy management and electric mobility. ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI).
Catherine Chardon, Managing Director of RATP Dev London, said, “Electrification is a critical part of our business and partnership with Transport for London (TfL). We launched our two first 100% electric routes less than two years ago, as well as London’s first fully electric 24-hour double-decker bus route last year. By the beginning of 2022, we will operate 15 zero emission routes and have five of our garages converted to electric. This agreement will help RATP Dev London position itself as the leading electric bus services provider in the city. We are proud to work hand in hand with TfL to help London achieve its sustainability goals.”
BYD UK Managing Director, Frank Thorpe, said, “Naturally, this is a hugely significant moment in the development of the BYD brand in the UK. Public transport in the capital often provides the blueprint for other towns and cities and the fact that a major operator like RATP Dev is making such a substantial commitment to eMobility will, I believe, resonate with Local Authorities across the UK. The increasing electrification of routes by TfL operators is delivering long-term productivity to their fleets and real environmental benefits for Londoners.”
Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “RATP Dev London’s record order is a resounding vote of confidence in our British-built electric buses and ADL’s proven ability to tailor these to authorities and operators’ requirements. These buses will build on our pioneering work in support of Transport for London’s Bus Safety Standard with a focus on safety for drivers, passengers and other road users.”
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.
© 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.