BYD's green bus wins award

Updated: 2014-09-15 03:30

By ZHANG FAN in Sao Paulo(China Daily Latin America)

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BYD's green bus wins award

Tyler Li, general manager of BYD Brazil, receives the prize of Inovacidade at the Smart City Business Congress & Expo America in Sao Paulo on Sept 4. Provided to China Daily

Chinese automotive enterprises BYD Co Ltd was recently awarded the InovaCidade Award from Brazil's Smart City Business Institute for the company's electric transit buses. The award praises BYD achievements in technical innovation and for producing more environmentally-friendly products.

"It is very meaningful for BYD because it shows that Brazilian society values our technology. It is the first time for us to win the award in South America," said Tyler Li, general manager of BYD Brazil at the Smart City Business Congress & Expo America in Sao Paulo on Sept 4.

Li said Brazilians used to think of Chinese products as cheap and of poor quality, but winning this award shows that this impression is changing.

"We want to prove to Brazilian customers that our products have major technical advantages and electric buses will be a trend for the development of public transportation," he added.

Smart City Business Institute, covering South America, is an influential organization focused on innovation and urban development. Other international brands such as Dell and Microsoft also won the prize.

BYD's electric buses were also named as the Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle of the Year in the UK. The judging panel said BYD's pure electric buses "have demonstrated impressive carbon savings through their electric power train systems."

BYD entered the Brazilian market last November and its electric transit buses have been tested in about 20 cities including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Currently there are two electric buses in trail service in Brasilia and Campinas.

The buses, according to the data from the company, can reduce operating costs by up to 81 percent compared with petrol-driven vehicles, which can greatly benefit bus operators and also enable more Brazilian cities to improve their public transportation systems.

"As the price of energy is more stable than the price of diesel, the electric bus has shown that it is possible to reduce pollution as well as operating costs of bus systems, which is consistent with the civic demand for improvements in public transportation without raising fares," said Adalberto Maluf , marketing director of BYD.

The Shenzhen-based company launched its first Brazilian factory this August in Campinas, an industrial city near Sao Paulo, to produce the world's only long-range electric transit bus.

The 30,000-square-meter factory will be BYD's production base in Latin America after it starts operations in 2015. The project will absorb $91 million in investment from BYD over the next three to five years.

BYD is currently the world's largest producer of rechargeable batteries with products in Europe and North and Central America.

Before exploring international markets, 780 of BYD's electric buses have been in service in Shenzhen since 2011.

Besides BYD, BMW, one of the world's largest automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing companies, also eyes Brazil as a potential market. BMW just released its first family model i3 in Brazil, available in eight cities including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.