Chinese auto maker BYD Auto has been rolling out electric buses for a number of years now, launching a 40 ft long range people carrier in 2010, supplying Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam with 35 vehicles in 2013, and revealing the world's largest battery electric vehicle in 2014. That last title has now been bested, by BYD. Earlier this week, the firm unveiled the K12A – a 27 meter (88.5 ft) pure electric bus capable of carrying up to 250 passengers.
The K12A was officially launched at BYD's Shenzhen headquarters on Tuesday. The bi-articulated battery electric bus is the first to be equipped with a distributed 4WD setup, meaning that the vehicle can be switched from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive and back when the route calls for something extra.
Developed for global Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) systems, the bus incorporates proprietary batteries, electric motors and electronic controls. It can carry up to 250 people, has a top speed of 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and offers around 300 km (186 mi) per charge range, which could well represent a full day's operation before it needs a top up. The bus also comes with both DC and AC charging ports that "can be switched freely to meet customers' every need."
"The K12A will bring zero emissions to BRT systems, allowing passengers to enjoy quiet, pollution-free travel, while at the same time saving significant maintenance costs for operator," said BYD's Stella Li.
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