Windsor, Ontario, Mayor Eddie Francis signed last week a letter of intent to purchase up to ten BYD 40-foot electric buses for City transit services in 2012.
This signature makes Detroit’s neighbor the first City in North America to launch long-range, all-electric buses. The agreement also opens talks to bring manufacturing of BYD buses to the Ontario region in the near future. Transit Windsor has the unique distinction of running in Canada as well as in Detroit, making this launch one that serves on both Canadian and United States’ roads.
According to BYD, the BYD Iron-Phosphate batteries used in these electric buses are the only rechargeable battery systems that contain no heavy metals, toxic electrolytes or use caustic materials in their production. This would make the BYD batteries the most environmentally friendly batteries available on the market. Additionally, BYD and Enwin are working toward having a master plan to repurpose the Windsor bus batteries into fixed Energy Storage Stations when the buses retire (in 12 to 15 years).
BYD is in the process of completing FMVSS, CMVSS, and other certification testing in North America this year with further plans for fleet sales and deliveries after the first Windsor bus deliveries. BYD’s all-electric vehicles in commercial fleets have traveled over 10 million miles over the last two years (as of Q1-2012), showing that their bus technology is quite mature. BYD has delivered over 300 all-electric buses worldwide and has orders for over 1300 more in 2012.