BYD presents electric double-decker bus with Blade battery

BYD has presented a new electric double-decker bus, first for the British market. The BD11 features a next-generation chassis but is also powered by BYD’s blade battery. With this move, BYD is leveraging synergies between its automotive and bus businesses.

BYD presented the BD11 in London, where it is also expected to find its highest degree of popularity. The reason for the location choice is simple: the 10.9-meter-long electric bus was specially designed for London’s public transport system. The BD11 will celebrate its official market launch there before the end of the year.

Two variants, also outside the UK

Another variant of the BD11 is expected to be released soon. This variant is designed for use in rural areas, in contrast to London’s urban density. BYD has not revealed the actual differences between the models.

However, the Chinese manufacturer already announced that the rural model may also hit markets outside of the UK. Generally, BYD follows a solo-bus approach to its market offerings in the rest of Europe.

The BD11’s dimensions are listed as 10.9 x 2.55 x 4.3 meters with a 5.44-meter wheelbase and 19.5 tonnes of total permissible weight. The blade battery holds 532 kWh for the electric double-decker, both of which were developed in-house.

The battery’s name comes from the shape of the prismatic cells, which are particularly long and resemble a blade. The LFP battery (lithium-iron-phosphate) is produced both as a cell-to-pack variant and a cell-to-body approach. Previously, BYD mostly used the battery in its personal cars.

In the electric double-decker, BYD has opted for the cell-to-body variant of the batteries, which allowed the manufacturer to save around 10% of the vehicle’s weight, as well as increase stability on the tall vehicle.

It can charge with up to 500 kW via a pantograph charger or a ‘dual-gun’ charging approach, where the vehicle is plugged into two cable charging stations. BYD states that under ideal conditions, the charging process from 0 to 100 percent takes about two hours.

Stability, maneuverability, space

The main innovation of the new vehicle is the integration of the blade battery into an entirely new vehicle category. In addition to the stability and weight savings mentioned above, the integration also allows for higher maneuverability and more space inside the bus, which can transport up to 90 passengers.

For the drive system, the Chinese company opted for two wheel-hub motor systems with 150 kW each, providing a total of 600 Nm torque. The drive system is thus comprised of two 6-in-1 systems with SiC technology, which BYD lauds as being both flexible and reliable. This also allows the system to be switched out easily without much downtime for maintenance.

Other variants may follow

While the blade battery has mostly been used in personal cars, this is not the first instance of BYD integrating it into a bus. The Chinese manufacturer also brought a bus model to the Busworld trade show last autumn with the blade battery integrated.

The newest generation of the 12-meter solo bus, with an integrated blade battery, was presented there. The B12 electric bus also features the same battery and a total capacity of 500 kWh, as well as the same wheel-hub motors present on the BD11.

The B12 bus from BYD presented at Brussels’ Busworld last year /BYD

 

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