BYD is expanding its electric buses to Finland for the first time with a significant order. The operator Nobina has ordered a total of 106 electric buses from BYD, 64 of which are destined for the capital Helsinki and 42 for the city of Turku, including a new model from the Chinese manufacturer.
Nobina was the first public transport operator to opt for BYD’s new 15-meter low-floor model, at least for the 42 vehicles for Turku. In most European markets there is a demand for 12-meter buses with two axles or even shorter models. If larger buses with more passenger capacity are required, operators often opt for 18-meter articulated buses. This is different in Scandinavia, where the 15-meter three-axle buses (without articulation) are also in demand.
Despite only regional demand, the market is so large that BYD is not the only company to include a corresponding 15-meter model in its range. The Polish manufacturer Solaris also announced such a model for Scandinavia in January with the Urbino 15 LE electric. BYD says that its 15-metre bus has a seating capacity of 47+3 seats and a range of 400 kilometres under SORT-2 test conditions.
In Helsinki, the order includes 20 12-meter buses and 44 units of the 18-meter electric articulated bus. For Helsinki, BYD speaks only of deliveries from 2021, while the 42 vehicles in Turku will already be put into operation by Nobina in the summer of 2021.
“The Nordic region leads the rest of Europe in the adoption of electrification,” says Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. “providing evidence that electric mobility delivers tangible operational benefits for Public Transport Operators, alongside safe, quiet and comfortable local journeys for passengers”.
However, with Turku and Helsinki, BYD’s electric buses are only used in Southern Finland. The two-port cities are located at approximately the same northern latitude as Oslo. In 2021, BYD will also deliver some electric buses to the Swedish town of Piteå, which is close to the Arctic Circle. In the same year, competitor Volvo Buses will deliver 31 electric buses to the Norwegian city of Bodø, a few kilometres further north in the Arctic Circle.
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