Deutsche Bahn has ordered electric buses from the Chinese manufacturer BYD for the first time for its bus transport division DB Regio Bus. Initially, five electric 12-metre BYD buses will go into operation at DB Regio Bus in Ettlingen, Baden-Württemberg, over the course of this year.
Currently the world’s largest electric bus maker, BYD says that the German public transport provider will be using the latest generation of BYD’s 12-metre low-floor bus with increased battery capacity (422 kWh). This version of the model, simply called eBus, was presented by BYD at Busworld 2019. The model is said to feature not only the new battery but also a new air conditioning system, 6-in-1 controls and BYD’s Fleetlink fleet management tool.
The two companies have signed a framework agreement to pave the way for “further orders in 2021”. No further details were provided here.
“This important order is indicative of the confidence that Deutsche Bahn places in our best-selling, and latest generation, 12-metre product,” said BYD Europe Managing Director, Isbrand Ho, “which has also been rubberstamped by the framework agreement for the supply of eBuses later this year. Moreover, the order from such a high profile Public Transport Operator is acceptance of the BYD marque generally in the German bus market.”
This is BYD’s second e-bus order from Germany, having already handed over 22 vehicles to public transport operators in Gelsenkirchen and Bochum in October 2020. These vehicles ordered in 2019 are from the previous BYD generation.
The Chinese company has an electric bus plant in Hungary and most of its European markets are served from the plant in Komárom. In December the company announced that it is planning to expand the Hungarian plant – from 200 vehicles per year at present to 1,000.