BYD introduces next electric school bus doubled as power source


BYD introduced another electric school bus with two-way charging in the United States. The new “Type A” is significantly smaller than the “Type D” that the company introduced last year.

The new Type A electric school bus comes in three lengths of 22.9, 24.5 and 26.7 feet (7 to 8.1 meters) and can accommodate up to 30 students. In comparison, Type D is between 10.7 and 12.1 meters (33 and 12 feet) long and can accommodate up to 84 students.

BYD gives some details about the drive and battery in the announcement. Unsurprisingly, the high-voltage storage is an LFP battery, but BYD is not disclosing its capacity. However, the bus is supposed to have a range of 140 miles, or the equivalent of 225 kilometers. Charging takes place up to 150 kW DC or 19.2 kW AC.

At the same time, like the larger model, the Type A can also be unloaded by cable, which means it offers bidirectionality. “The battery-electric school bus is designed to be there for school districts around the clock, both as a vehicle and as an energy storage resource,” said Stella Li, president of BYD North America. His colleague Samuel Kang, head of total technology solutions at BYD, also called the two-way charging capability a “game changer”. He added: “School buses can be recharged overnight when energy demand is low, and clean, emission-free energy can be fed back into the classroom during school hours when the bus is parked, keeping well-lit classrooms and connected students and teachers.

Overall, BYD expects fuel costs to drop by up to 60% compared to a diesel bus. Maintenance costs are also likely to be up to 60% lower due to fewer moving parts and significantly reduced vibration.

Another important feature: the Type A has an optional liftgate that can move up to 800 pounds or 363 kilograms. This should make it possible to transport wheelchairs and people with reduced mobility.


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