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 reduce bus maintenance and management costs and improve air quality by reducing the emission of CO2 and NOx.
The BYD ebus is a 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 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 said, "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."
Some of the current buses at the airport 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. It 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.