An island which is home to the Netherlands’ first national park is about to launch Europe’s cleanest bus fleet.
The city of Schiermonnikoog in the province of Friesland, Netherlands is nestled on this 10-mile (16-km) long island and is virtually car-free. While home to about 1,000 residents, over 350,000 people visit the island every year and will now ride on six new, long-range, all-electric BYD buses set to launch on Schiermonnikoog in early 2013.
In a European contract offer and open bid supported by four major bus manufacturers, BYD came out on top. BYD scored the highest in meeting program goals and won not only an order for the six electric buses, but also a 15-year maintenance contract.
Friesland Provincial Executive Director Johannes Kramer stated, “Friesland province leads Europe in green transportation now. We will soon have a fully-electrified public transportation service with these six BYD electric buses. This is good for Schiermonnikoog, good for tourism, and great for the environment!”
The BYD buses are comparable to the buses now servicing Schiermonnikoog in terms of size – they are 40 feet long and can accommodate 60-70 passengers. However, the BYD electric bus can be charged at night and with a range of around 180 miles per charge it allows them to provide service all day without needing another charge.
This project supports Friesland province’s stated goal to be fully independent of fossil fuels. It has identified that over a third of CO2 emissions in the province are the result of traffic and transportation pollution; therefore, the electric public transportation is a stepping stone toward broader long-term emissions reduction goals.