For a while we heard a lot about BYD and how they were going to be the next big thing in electric cars because of their superior battery technology. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway even invested in the Chinese company. Well, apparently having great battery technology isn't enough... They've scaled back and delayed a lot of their plans for electric cars (maybe they'll come back with a vengeance later once they've worked out the kinks), but they seem to be doing well with electric buses.
"I am very pleased that Uruguay will have this environmental-friendly bus and new technology. I am looking forward to seeing electric vehicle technology in this country as we are very devoted to the protection of the environment," said President Mujica.
Mr. Juan Carlos Lopez Mena, President of Buquebus, Uruguay’s largest tourism company, stated, "I am ready to invest heavily in a natural Uruguay – I will replace my whole tourism bus fleet with new energy buses." BYD Senior Business Director Stanley Lin Tang commented, “Uruguay is an important tourism market yet it imports all of its petroleum. Promoting electric vehicles not only contributes to environmental protection and economic recovery, but it also improves Uruguay's energy security." Dr. Sasson Attie, President of CTS Auto S.A. represented the third partner of the project.
The BYD GreenCity buses in question have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) per charge in urban conditions, where they will be used. Energy consumption is less than 130 kWh per 100 km. They are powered by BYD's Iron-Phosphate battery technology, boasting the "highest safety, longest service life and most environmentally-friendly rechargeable chemistry" according to the company.
The BYD buses have been in service in four cities including Shenzhen, Changsha, Shaoguan and Xi’an accumulating over 5.6 million kilometers (or 3.4 M miles) by the end of April 2012. The first BYD electric buses will arrive in Uruguay before end of 2012 with targets to have over 500 buses running on roads by 2015.