During Mobility and Transport 2013 Conference held in Bogota earlier this year, global bus manufacturer BYD announced the 2014 production of a long-range, 18 meter (60 foot), articulated all-battery-electric transit bus.
Similar to other buses that BYD makes, this model is specifically tailored to the needs and requirements of Colombia’s rapid transit programs -- utilizing efficient in-wheel motors (also found in the BYD “K9” 12 meter buses). The BYD 12-meter buses have accumulated 23 million Km (~14M miles) of in-revenue service world-wide and also have become synonymous with low maintenance costs. The high-floor loading-system designed for the 18 meter articulated bus has been developed specifically for Bogota’s TransMilenio Rapid Transit system serving the capital of Colombia. The BRT opened to the public in December 2000 with 11 lines totaling 87 km (~54 miles) running throughout the city. As of October 2012, up to 1400 buses were circulating on the BRT system in Bogota. BYD’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems have a high-floor to match loading platforms like a subway ensure efficient loading protocols. They can also be designed with a very-low floor if customers specify. The BYD bus strength is enhanced by using a strong steel chassis and an aluminum body. According to initial prototype testing in China, the 18 meter BYD articulated bus ran 240 km (150 miles) on a single charge – this would fully meet the daily requirements for Colombian city BRT transport.
Gustavo Pedro, the mayor of Bogota, recently announced Decree 477 to upgrade Bogota’s public transportation systems in four phases, which will introduces various low- or zero-emission transportation technologies. BYD launched Latin America’s largest taxi fleet with the Bogota Mayor this fall, completed very positive testing of the 12m buses in September and is now partnering for a large opportunity to bring articulated electric buses to the BRT. BYD will introduce two new models based on Colombia’s transportation regulations for demo in 2014, according to the company.