Whenever someone mentions EVs, the image popping up in the mind is that of a car or bike or some skateboards. However, at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo in Houston this year, BYD Motors decided to go big by coming up with the world’s largest EV – a Lancaster eBus.
The bus, nominated as America’s first electric bus, has been named after the California city where it was designed and has been built followed by 2 years of development. The 60-ft bus looks like any other regular bus when looked at from outside, however, inside the hid it contains some insane electric drive technology. It has the in-wheel motors that are capable of handling slopes of up to 21% and this makes it quite suitable for hilly urban areas while promising a drive range of 288 km while carrying 120 passengers.
The firm is based in Pingshan, China and surprisingly doesn’t have any history when it comes to building buses but rather specializes in batteries. So the company, in essence, built a bus around the battery. The Lancaster eBus used BYD’s batteries made of iron phosphate that are also used in cars and non-articulated buses. BYD Motors states that the batteries have enough power to complete a day’s work without requiring a top up. This means that the bus can be charged at night when the rate is comparatively low.
Apart from the strategic charging, BYD claims that the Lancaster’s battery can be recharged 10,000 times while still being capable of retaining a 70% charge. This translates into a lifespan of 25-years, which is more than the conventional bus. Apart from that, Lancaster claims that the batteries can survive fire, punctures, impact and even crushing to quite a high degree. The Lancaster bus can charge another one of its kind and it is also capable of feeding power to the grid or a building if need be.
BY Motors Fleet Sales Vice President, Brendan Riley said, “BYD’s mission is to create safer and more environmentally-friendly battery technologies. This has resulted in the BYD iron-phosphate battery; a fire-safe, completely recyclable, and incredibly long-cycle technology – the foundation of BYD’s electric buses. These buses run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with single off-peak charging time of two to four hours. No additional generation capacity is needed to be built to charge our buses at night since the grid is only 40 percent utilized.”
BYD also used this (used what?) to unveil the 40-ft Transit bus, which has been built for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority that drove from Los Angeles to Houston, covering a journey of 2,414 km at 402 km per charge and that too with zero emissions. In terms of electricity usage, the bus covered a total of 1,207 km in 24 hours at the cost of $200.