A BYD battery-electric coach has started a trial service on a scheduled route in Germany in what is believed to be one of the first attempts at undertaking such duties with a zero-emission vehicle.
The coach has entered service with Flixbus on a route between Frankfurt and Mannheim, which runs four times a day. Each trip is almost 100km in length and the coach is expected to cover around 125,000km over the one-year trial period.
Charging is undertaken once or twice during overnight hours using 80kW stations located at each end of the route. Over five years, Flixbus would generate around 110,000 tonnes of CO2 savings with one electric coach.
Flixbus CEO Fabian Stenger says that while an electric vehicle is more expensive to buy, any such investment would pay off in later years. “We want to make a clear statement and show that electric mobility is possible,” he adds.
BYD Europe MD Isbrand Ho also believes that electric coaches will become a reality. “They can be practical and – for the operator – profitable as well,” he says.
“Electric bus operation is already widely proven, but long-distance services are virtually unknown, at least in Europe. This trial is a further step on the road to an electric revolution in road passenger transport and I am delighted that BYD is at the forefront of that.”