BYD launches electric double decker bus for UK market

Chinese electric vehicle conglomerate, BYD, has unveiled its first electric double decker bus model that’s been customised for the UK market. The BYD BD11, which is the manufacturer’s first model for the UK that’s been developed fully in-house, accommodates up to 90 passengers and has been specially tailored for service in London, with a launch into service date to be announced later this year.

The BYD BD11 is the latest model to feature BYD’s Blade Battery technology,  which is integrated into the chassis to save weight, increase driving range and improve stability and manoeuvrability, whilst also increasing interior space. With a capacity of up to 532 kWh, the bus offers flexible and rapid charging options, supporting both dual-gun charging and pantograph fast charging up to 500kW. The manufacturer claims that the BYD BD11 can be recharged from 0 to 100 per cent in just two hours.

According to BYD, the lightweight battery pack “has been designed to improve space utilisation by 50% more than a traditional battery pack, while maintaining high levels of energy density. Using each cell as a structural beam to help withstand force, the battery also achieves high levels of strength and torsional stiffness and has a low centre of gravity to increase stability and manoeuvrability”.

The BYD BD11 is driven by two 150kW electric motors. Incorporating multiple functions into a single assembly, the motors use an innovative 6-in-1 controller that simplifies the vehicle’s electronics for improved reliability. The electric motor controls, steering control unit, air compressor controller, DC-DC converter and power distributor unit are combined into a single package.

The 6-in-1 motor uses cutting edge Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology that yields 99.5% efficiency with a 15% weight reduction, compared to traditional controllers, according to BYD.

This set-up, BYD adds, “maximises energy efficiency and eliminates the need for a traditional drivetrain with separate axles and transmission. Combining a flat wire and an oil-free solution for a 15% weight reduction over conventional motors, the motor design allows for more efficient use of space, as well as improved cooling to enhance performance and power output. It offers up to 600 Nm torque for responsive acceleration, which is especially beneficial on steep inclines”.

In addition, the BYD BD11 is equipped with an integrated thermal management system to optimise energy utilisation, plus active suspension control and a comprehensive suite of enhanced safety features, including the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA).

It also meets the industry standard (R155/R156) for cybersecurity and software updates to ensure optimum system security throughout its lifecycle. An over-the-air (OTA) Fleetlink upgrade feature is being developed, which will allow the vehicle to be updated remotely to eliminate the need for physical visits to service centres. Fleet operators will be able to remotely access and upgrade the bus systems, ensuring that the BYD BD11 remains up to date with the latest software enhancements and optimisations.

“BYD is committed to technological innovation and spearheading the global transition towards eco-conscious public transportation,” commented Frank Thorpe, Managing Director, BYD UK Commercial Vehicles at the vehicle’s unveiling at the London Bus Museum.

“The BYD BD11 will play a pivotal role in contributing to the reduction of air pollution in London and, soon after, the UK’s wider carbon neutrality goals. We are proud to launch our own all-new electric double decker bus with highly innovative, world-leading technology for safe and reliable electric mobility, providing operators with modern eco-friendly eBus options that meet their specifications, thus providing more people the choice to use clean, non-polluting bus services in the future.”

Imperial Engineering is fully geared up to serve operators with parts for BYD eBuses and already has a significant inventory in place at its new distribution facility in Harlow, Essex.  The company has made a significant investment in a brand new warehouse management system upgrade to support the BYD parts supply agreement and is introducing further measures to meet the growing demand from operators, as the number of BYD eBuses on UK roads continues to increase.

Alongside parts supply, Imperial Engineering assists customers in identifying the correct parts for their vehicles, as well as providing technical support and advice where required.