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Brisbane Airport to add fleet of 11 BYD electric buses

One Step Off the Grid, 19 June 2017
Brisbane Airport has become Australia’s second major airport to add electric buses to its transport fleet, with 11 BYD 70 passenger vehicles set to run an inter-terminal shuttle service starting early 2018.

The addition of the buses at Brisbane Airport follows the rollout of a smaller fleet of six at Sydney Airport last year, where they have successfully replaced the diesel bus fleet that serviced the 7km shuttle route between the T2/T3 terminal precinct and the long-term car park.

Like the Sydney fleet, the Brisbane buses will be managed by Australian bus manufacturer and logistics group, Carbridge, as part of a joint venture with Malaysian company Gemilang and the Warren Buffet backed Chinese EV and battery maker, BYD.

The 12-meter BYD pure electric buses feature custom Gemilang bus-bodies, BYD chassis and dual 90kW water cooled permanent magnet wheel-hub traction motors, according to details of the deal published in February.

A 324kWh BYD lithium iron phosphate battery pack split between the forward roof and rear engine compartment zones gives the 70-seat bus a range of 500 kilometres, or up to 100 transfer journeys on a single charge.

All up, the contract will see Carbridge build a total of 40 new electric buses, in an effort by BYD – the world’s largest EV maker – to tap the Australian market.

“We are the first Chinese company to crack Australia’s electric bus market, having come a long way since the trial of our electric buses at the country’s busiest airport in Sydney in late 2014,” said BYD Asia Pacific general manager Liu Xueliang in February.

Carbridge is also the Australian distributor of BYD’s E6 electric car, which was launch here last May, initially targeting hire-car and taxi fleets.

In a statement issued last week, BYD said that replacing Brisbane Airport’s current bus fleet with electric buses would cut its carbon emissions by 250 tonnes a year.