Electric bus 307.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Beginning on Tuesday morning, passengers traveling on Dan’s Number 5 bus line in
Tel Aviv may suddenly encounter a much quieter and cleaner ride, aboard the
country’s first fully electric bus.
The vibrantly orange bus, produced by
Chinese firm BYD and imported to Israel through Clal Motors, is a low-floor city
vehicle about 12 meters long with a driving range of about 250 miles, according
to Dan. This lengthy lifespan allows for most urban buses to travel a day’s
routes without requiring a recharge, the company said. Recharging at night in
Dan parking lots, the bus battery requires only about four to five hours to
achieve full capacity.
“Today begins a new era in the vision of public
transportation,” said Dan chairman Michael Nagar and CEO Shmuel Rafaeli in a
joint statement at a Tel Aviv launch ceremony for the bus on Monday.
experience of a quiet and comfortable ride on an electric bus revolutionizes the
customer experience, and we intend to enable this experience for all Dan
passengers across Israel.”
Dan aims to upgrade 25 percent of its fleet
with electric buses within five years, an investment that will cost about NIS
400 million. The maintenance of electric buses, however, costs about 25% less
than the maintenance of the diesel buses dominating Israel’s public
transportation sector today, the company said. Meanwhile, the energy cost per
mile while operating an electric bus is about a third of the costs associated
with the fuel necessary for the same diesel-powered journey.
technology incorporates a lithium iron phosphate battery adapted for electrical
vehicle use, and the company manufactures the batteries in an environmentally
friendly manner that does not involve heavy metals or other toxic substances,
information from the companies said. The battery lasts for up to 6,000 cycles,
and the battery and its charger together cost about $400,000. Operating on an
alternating current, the battery is able to plug directly into the national
electricity grid if necessary, the technical data explained.
CEO of Clal Motors, stressed that seeing the public making use of electric buses
is “part of the general green city vision of BYD, which includes electric cars
and buses, electricity production from the sun and the use of energysaving LED
Dan currently operates about 1,300 buses and hundreds of
minibuses in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. BYD is the world’s largest battery
manufacturer and began to develop electric cars and buses in recent years, the
companies said. BYD electric buses began operating in several Chinese cities in
2010, and the first bus to enter service has already traveled 11 million
In January 2013, BYD received a Whole Vehicle Type Approval
for its compliance with European standards, making possible the entrance of the
vehicles into the European market. Aside from the buses operating in China and
now Israel, BYD is providing electric buses this year to the Netherlands,
Finland, Denmark, Uruguay, Colombia, Canada and the United States, the companies