Recently, BYD released a joint announcement with Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) that two electric buses of BYD would be officially placed into operation in Cape Town, Western Cape province. These two electric buses were the first batch of electric buses put into operation in South Africa and Southern Africa. Therefore, the Western Cape province became the first province in South Africa to run electric buses.
As the largest public transportation service provider in South Africa, GABS is currently running more than 1100 units of buses daily and has more than 160 years of bus operating experience. Since November 2020, GABS has conducted a series of strict tests on the two BYD electric buses. The test outcome was outstanding and received high praise from GABS. In addition, GABS planned to start the electrification of the local public transportation gradually in the future.
“Introducing electric buses aims to respond to the national and provincial governments’ call for reducing carbon emissions,” said Gideon Neethling, GABS company engineer.“For the first few months, we tested the buses in a range of circumstances without passengers. The aim was to get to know exactly how these vehicles perform before incorporating them into our operations.” He was very pleased with the test result, said: “Testing these vehicles has been a joy for everyone who is part of the project. Each time we carry out a new test or reach a new milestone, the level of excitement increases further,” said Neethling.
The capacity of the BYD electric bus is 40 passengers with the highest range up to 320 km. In addition, these buses are equipped with user-friendly features, such as free WiFi and a wheelchair ramp. These two electric buses would operate during the local rush hour, carrying passengers between Retreat and Cape Town.
In May 2021, the South African government officially published the Auto Green Paper asking the public for their opinions on developing NEVs across the country. The government hopes to implement a long-term national strategy that transforms South Africa into a bellwether in manufacturing advanced vehicles such as EVs and automotive parts.
Transport and Public Works Minister, Daylin Mitchell said “After taking a ride in this bus, I am confident passengers will feel safe during their journey.”
“BYD has now completed an all-around new energy industry layout in Africa ranging from clean energy’s collection and storage to its applications,” said AD Huang, the General Manager of BYD Middle East and Africa Auto Sales Division, “Our main business has covered regions such as Northern, Western and Southern Africa after years of efforts and operations since we entered Africa in 2004. With a growing brand influence and an increasingly urgent need for environmental protection globally, BYD’s business is expanding steadily into new energy vehicles including passenger vehicles, electric buses, rail transit, and other areas. The commercial electric buses officially put into operation in South Africa for the first time set a perfect example, which indicating our strength in electric commercial vehicle technology, and shows a paradigm of business cooperation in the new energy sector in the Middle East and Africa.”
Today, the new energy products of BYD have entered in over 300 cities of more than 50 countries and regions globally. In Africa, BYD has received wide acceptance in South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt, and other nations due to the outstanding performance of its electric buses.