BYD and their British partner Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) are supplying a total of 29 fully electric Enviro400EV double-decker buses to bus operator National Express in the English West Midlands. The first 19 units have now gone into service in Birmingham.
The Enviro400EV is based on the well-known Enviro200EV, but is larger. The new aluminium body is 10.9 metres long, 4.3 metres high and 2.55 metres wide. The bus is driven by wheel hub motors. The iron phosphate batteries hold up to 382 kWh, which according to BYD allows a range of 250 kilometres. The Enviro400EV was launched on the market last year. To date, 250 units of the model are said to have been sold, primarily to Great Britain: Two thirds of the units sold are already in use in British cities, according to the European BYD headquarters.
But back to the English West Midlands: The 29 buses ordered were tailored to the requirements of National Express, explain BYD and ADL. The vehicles offer additional legroom for the 65 seated passengers as well as USB charging sockets and free Wi-Fi. According to the manufacturer duo, an integrated heat pump system also ensures that the heating is fed from the main batteries, “without undue impact on operational range”.
In Birmingham, the 19 new electric buses will be charged at the National Express depot called Yardley Wood Garage. The local operator has coupled the charging infrastructure with a stationary battery from Zenobe Energy to balance the network load. Meanwhile, the order’s ten remaining electric double-decker buses are expected to begin service in Coventry in the autumn. National Express has undertaken to stop procuring diesel buses and to convert its bus fleet completely to electric vehicles by 2030. The government is supporting the ambitious operator’s current procurement measures with three million pounds, the equivalent of around 3.31 million euros.
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