BYD wins Schiphol contract: 35 pure electric buses for airside services

Amsterdam, July 16th, 2013. Fast growing automotive supplier BYD has scored a major victory – it has been selected to supply a new fleet of electric buses to transfer passengers between the terminals and aircraft at Europe’s leading airport, Amsterdam Schiphol. The emission free BYD ebus models, due to enter service in July 2014, will replace an ageing fleet of specialised conventionally powered buses.

The SUBSS Project (SUstainable Bus System Schiphol) aims to provide a new generation of emission free airside transfer vehicles which will enhance the airport’s image with passengers and airlines, reduce bus maintenance and management costs and improve air quality by reducing the emission of CO2 and NOx.

The order, won through competitive tender in the face of intense pressure from four other established suppliers, is a major triumph for BYD since Amsterdam’s leading position makes it a role model in the airport industry. All European airports are facing pressures to cut harmful emissions.

The BYD ebus is a well proven full size single deck bus which has completed more than 17 million kilometres in passenger carrying services and has been trialled in major cities across Europe.

BYD, which has its European headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is rolling out a wide range of pure electric vehicles, including buses and taxis, as part of its Green City Solutions programme. All these vehicles use the company’s advanced and environmentally friendly iron-phosphate Fe batteries for their power.

Jos Nijhuis, CEO & President Schiphol Group : “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be the first airport in the world making bus transport at airside electric. After a European open tender, the contract was awarded to the best bid in terms of quality, energy performance and price. The switch to electric buses will help us in creating a healthier and more pleasant environment for travellers and employees alike. The buses will be put into operation in 2014, making transportation at the airport more environmentally friendly and more sustainable.”

 “Winning this contract is a vital step in our programme to deliver emissions free public transport vehicles”, said Isbrand Ho, BYD Europe’s Managing Director. “We won this contract on the strength of our proven technology and ability to support what is a 10-year operating contract. We are fully confident that this high-profile contract will persuade many other bus operators – inside and outside the airport business – that we can meet their needs”.

The motivation behind the Schiphol SUBSS project is complex. Some of the current buses are approaching the end of their technical service life, mainly because of wear and tear of the fossil fuel engines which rarely reach optimal operating temperatures on short journeys from terminal to aircraft.This results in high maintenance costs and poor emissions performance. Research has shown that passengers consider the inhaling of emissions to be very annoying. The current buses have also proved to be too big at 14 metres long and 2.7 metres wide for the Schiphol airside infrastructure, resulting in regular accidental damage.

The emissions free BYD ebus is 12m metres long – the same size as normal buses operating on city streets.