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BYD wins Schiphol contract: 35 pure electric buses for airside services

July 17, 2013 in BYD, Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Photo courtesy of BYD

Photo courtesy of BYD

Amsterdam, July 16th, 2013.

Fast growing automotive supplier BYD has scored a major victory – it has been selected to supply a new fleet of electric buses to transfer passengers between the terminals and aircraft at Europe’s leading airport, Amsterdam Schiphol. The emission free BYD ebus models, due to enter service in July 2014, will replace an ageing fleet of specialised conventionally powered buses.

The SUBSS Project (SUstainable Bus System Schiphol) aims to provide a new generation of emission free airside transfer vehicles which will enhance the airport’s image with passengers and airlines, reduce bus maintenance and management costs and improve air quality by reducing the emission of CO2 and NOx.

The order, won through competitive tender in the face of intense pressure from four other established suppliers, is a major triumph for BYD since Amsterdam’s leading position makes it a role model in the airport industry. All European airports are facing pressures to cut harmful emissions.

BYD ebus Image courtesy of BYD

BYD ebus
Image courtesy of BYD

The BYD ebus is a well proven full size single deck bus which has completed more than 17 million kilometres in passenger carrying services and has been trialled in major cities across Europe.

BYD, which has its European headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is rolling out a wide range of pure electric vehicles, including buses and taxis, as part of its Green City Solutions programme. All these vehicles use the company’s advanced and environmentally friendly iron-phosphate Fe batteries for their power.

Jos Nijhuis, CEO & President Schiphol Group: “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be the first airport in the world making bus transport at airside electric. After a European open tender, the contract was awarded to the best bid in terms of quality, energy performance and price. The switch to electric buses will help us in creating a healthier and more pleasant environment for travellers and employees alike. The buses will be put into operation in 2014, making transportation at the airport more environmentally friendly and more sustainable.”

“Winning this contract is a vital step in our programme to deliver emissions free public transport vehicles”, said Isbrand Ho, BYD Europe’s Managing Director. “We won this contract on the strength of our proven technology and ability to support what is a 10-year operating contract. We are fully confident that this high-profile contract will persuade many other bus operators – inside and outside the airport business – that we can meet their needs.”

The motivation behind the Schiphol SUBSS project is complex. Some of the current buses are approaching the end of their technical service life, mainly because of wear and tear of the fossil fuel engines which rarely reach optimal operating temperatures on short journeys from terminal to aircraft. This results in high maintenance costs and poor emissions performance. Research has shown that passengers consider the inhaling of emissions to be very annoying. The current buses have also proved to be too big at 14 metres long and 2.7 metres wide for the Schiphol airside infrastructure, resulting in regular accidental damage.

The emissions free BYD ebus is 12m metres long – the same size as normal buses operating on city streets.

Comfort of journey and fuel savings

The BYD ebus delivers a host of benefits not only for the environment but also for the public transport and the bus operator. It does not emit any harmful fumes into the environment. What is more, it is very quiet and ensures a comfortable journey without the vibrations, jerks or noise associated with the conventional buses with combustion engines.

Zero emission

The BYD ebus is an all-electric vehicle. It does not emit harmful fumes into environment. This pure electric solution guarantees an appropriate range of the bus no matter what the road conditions.

The BYD ebus is a unique vehicle, from the start it was built as an electric bus and not a converted bus from a conventional power unit. What is more, it features appropriate weight distribution, thanks to the smart utilization of the battery weight, and that is why it has great level of driveability. The ebus also has a well-developed system of energy recovery, which allows the batteries to be recharged during braking.

250 km on one charge

The BYD ebus can drive for 250 km even in heavy city traffic after one full charge. Although, as a recent test journey achieving 310km and using only 60% of the battery charge in Poland showed, this may be a conservative figure.

Pure electric BYD buses have been used in public transport since 2011. In China already 1,000 such buses have been built in the city of Shenzhen, 200 BYD electric buses have together accumulated 17 million km in passenger carrying service. In the first quarter of 2013 the BYD ebus obtained full European certification. This allowed the company to start selling buses on the European market. The Dutch province of Friesland is the first place in Europe where BYD electric buses are in use.

BYD ebus

The ebus built by BYD, is the first pure-electric bus powered by Iron-Phosphate battery in the world. More than 250 BYD ebuses are now in passenger carrying operations – by far the largest number from any bus brand. BYD ebus measures 12 meters long and is designed for customer transport comfort in mind. The technically advanced and specially designed wheel-hub motor, and its electronically controlled air suspension can offer customers a product with an exceptionally low floor, multiple door choices, and ample floor space for easy passenger access.

The imposing windscreen occupies two thirds of the frontal area of the bus for maximum viewing as well as safety. The bus body conveys an elegant exterior image, while the interior boasts an air of quality with adjustable driver’s seat, durable seats for passengers and a carefully engineered sound insulation keeping the interior ride whisper quiet.

BYD’s pure electric bus employs many advanced technologies developed in-house by BYD’s 15,000 engineers strong R&D team. For example, the Iron-Phosphate battery or “Fe Battery” used on the BYD ebus is safe and non-polluting: the materials contained in the battery can be recycled or safely disposed of.

BYD ebus Project

Orders have been awarded in China, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Uruguay, Canada and the United States. The BYD electric bus has also been successfully tested in many cities in Europe including Madrid, Barcelona, Budapest, Salzburg, and etc. The accumulated mileage of the 200 electric buses operating in the city of Shenzhen (China) alone have exceeded 17 million kilometers by the end of June 2013.

BYD ebus Highlights

  • Environmentally friendly
  • No direct emissions • Low noise • Recyclable Fe battery: no toxic electrolytes and no heavy metals
  • Advanced technology
  • Regenerative Braking • Wheel-hub motor • Fe battery • Charging convenience • Fully charged in 5 hours.

Extended range

  • The BYD ebus is able to run 250 km (155 miles ) on a single charge in urban conditions


  • Unibody construction • 4-wheel disc brakes • ABS and ASR
  • Passenger-oriented design
  • Airy designed interior space with low-entry • Special ramps for wheelchair access • Non-step passenger cabin

Wheel-hub Motor

The in-house developed rear drive axle installed on the BYD ebus is the core technology in BYD’s electric buses. The rear drive axle system integrates the wheel-hub drive and regenerative braking technologies, and at the same time, provides exceptional passenger comfort.

Compared to the conventional motor, the rear drive axle system has no gear box, no transmission shaft, and eliminating differential mechanism. Therefore, BYD is able to cut down the bus weight by 300kg and also greatly saving space. Thanks to the revolutionary design, power from the motor is directly transmitted to the driving wheels. There are significant improvements in power propulsion efficiency and reductions in noise and vibration.

Charging Facilities

The on-board AC charging technology developed by BYD is unique to the electric bus, requiring only 5 hours to fully recharge the BYD ebus.

Since the AC charging system has a direct connection to the grid, it can charge not only the batteries but correspondingly, in an emergency, transmit power back onto the grid from the batteries, for example, in a black out situation.

On-board AC charging system advantages:

  1. Independent of charging stations.
  2. Charging box is much smaller and lighter, and more convenient to transport than a conventional charging cabinet.
  3. Low maintenance costs.
  4. Suitable for various locations; easy to operate.
  5. Charging is both safe and pollution free, therefore charging box can be installed in the building without concerns for hydrogen gas emission..
  6. Operators are encouraged to take advantage of the off-peak hours in the evening to charge the vehicles reducing demand pressure on the grid.
  7. Electricity can be transmitted back onto the grid from the on-board batteries, when necessary, for emergency power supply.
  8. AC charging system is more cost-effective than DC charging system.

This article is a repost, credit: BYD,

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