German public transport companies Bogestra (Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahnen) and HCR (Straßenbahn Herne-Castrop-Rauxel) have ordered a total of 22 electric buses from Chinese electric automotive giant BYD (Build Your Dreams). This is the first electric-bus order for BYD from Germany.
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Of the 22 battery-electric buses, Bogestra will procure 20 emission-free buses and HCR will be getting two. The first BYD buses are scheduled to arrive in summer 2020. These will be put into operation in the German cities of Bochum, Gelsenkirchen and Herne.
The intermediate charging of buses in Bochum will take place at the Bogestra depot. The capacity of the batteries enables them to be used over a distance of up to 200 kilometres. In Gelsenkirchen, buses will run on line 380 which takes passengers from the main station via Kurt-Schumacher-Straße in the direction of Buer. Here the buses head for the final stop Buer Rathaus for intermediate charging. The buses are about twelve metres long and can carry up to 80 passengers.
Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, commented that: “We are very proud of this important order, which demonstrates our capabilities in a market dominated by German brands. BYD’s efforts will make a strong contribution to reducing emissions and improving air quality. And in our eyes, that is even more important than our first order in Germany.”
BYD has made such a strong headstart in the electric bus business that over the last couple of years, German automotive manufacturers have missed out on numerous international contracts due to their lack of series-ready zero-emissions public transport vehicles. Now that German public transport providers are themselves turning to the Chinese electric bus manufacturer, German companies have an increasingly steep entry curve.
The buses will cost the German public service providers approximately ten million euros. This has been made possible thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Immediate Programme “Clean Air 2017 – 2020”), the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Authority (VRR).
Update 10 August 2020: BYD has started deliveries under its first electric bus order from Germany. Last year, the Bogestra (Bochum-Gelsenkirchen trams) and HCR (Herne-Castrop-Rauxel trams) public transport companies ordered a total of 22 electric buses from BYD, the first of which has now been delivered. Despite the pandemic, delivery of all 22 electric buses is scheduled for completion by October 2020.
Drivers and workshop employees are now to be trained on the green and white labelled E-bus. With several hundred training participants, this will “certainly take several months”, Bogestra said.
Before the buses can go into regular service, the charging infrastructure must also be in operation. The Bogestra depots in Bochum-Weitmar, Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf and at the central bus station in Gelsenkirchen Buer are currently being equipped with the charging technology by ABB.
The deployment on line 354 in Bochum and 380 in Gelsenkirchen is a test run. The Bogestra and HCR are testing the BYD eBus for all members of the Eastern Ruhr Area Cooperation. In this cooperation seven partners have joined forces.
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