The next generation is set to count school rides on electric buses as part of their childhood as BYD introduces its fully electric Type D school bus. The Chinese brand is competing with features like bi-directional charging and advance safety features.
The electric buses are a far cry from the boring, utilitarian buses schools prefer as it features a modern neat design that will get kids excited about going to school. They will easily fit into school field trip and athletic events plans.
BYD wants to expand into the United States with its latest offering and trying to do better than its previous models.
The bus is available in different lengths: 35, 38 and 40 feet, with capacity for up to 80 younger humans at once. It will be able to cover 155 miles on a single charge of its lithium ion phosphate battery that powers its high speed dual motor drivetrain.
BYD is touting the bi-directional capability embedded in the bus, which will allow it supply some of the electricity stored in the battery, to classrooms for example, when they are stationary. This makes sense as they can charge overnight when electricity is usually cheaper and power the school during the day.
BYD is also advertising its safety features, which were given high priority during the design stage, especially as the intended passengers are mostly children. The features include electronic stability control, collision avoidance system and a monitoring system that offers 360 view of the surroundings. The bus will also alert the kids as to when it is safe to cross the road.
Samuel Kang, head of total technology solutions explains BYD’ approach to safety: “From the beginning, our team has always been focused on many key features. We believed the Type D electric bus needed to be appealing to kids while at the same time offer the upmost safety features and driver ergonomics, be equipped with a safe, high-performance battery, and have plenty of storage capacity for road trips. The BYD Type D school bus achieves all those goals”
The comfort extends to the driver, who will be turning the 18-inch power steering wheel while seating in a comfy chair that gives him high level of visibility and easy reach of the control switches.
BYD estimates fueling and maintenance costs will be lower than comparable diesel powered models by up to 60 percent, which is music to the ears of many district education authorities.