BYD To Lease 500 BEVs To Shenzhen Bus Company

By Scott Doggett July 27, 2011

Leased BYD-e6-electric-crossover.jpg

BYD signed contracts with Shenzhen, China’s largest bus company that allows the South China city to lease 200 eBus battery-electric buses and 300 battery-electric e6 sedan (above) taxis for the 2011 Universiade, an international multisport collegiate event held Aug. 12-23. The vehicles will serve as Shenzhen public transportation following the games. The lease is one of the largest by an automaker involving battery-electric vehicles for public use. In a statement, BYD said e6 and eBus fleet testing has been "extremely successful for over a year," with the eBus having more than 68,600 all-electric miles and predominantly charged off-peak at public station terminals for the lowest night-time energy rates. The all-electric e6 taxi fleet has now logged more than 2.2 million all-electric miles with rapid-charge times averaging 20 minutes.

Ranked No. 1 on the Bloomberg/BusinessWeek 2009 Tech 100 list, BYD, in which billionaire investor Warren Buffett owns a stake, has since fallen on hard times. Diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters have raised a number of questions about the fledgling carmaker. In March, Reuters published a 3,100-word "special report" that described a record of stealing designs from rivals, using those savings to undercut competitors on price, and scrimping on safety.

Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. The area became China's first -- and arguably one of the most successful -- "special economic zones." Shenzhen's modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment resulting from the "reform and opening" policy established in the zone in the late 1970s. Before then, Shenzhen was a small village.

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