BYD, the world’s leading manufacturer of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) and power batteries, has been awarded a substantial electric bus order from Volánbusz Zrt, Hungary’s largest public transport operator. The sizeable order for 48 units of 12-metre BYD low-entry eBuses was placed on 1st April 2022 as part of a formal signing ceremony attended by László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology; László Vigh, Ministerial Commissioner, Member of Parliament; Zoltán Balaicz, Mayor of Zalaegerszeg, Dr. Zoltán Pafféri, President and CEO of Volánbusz, as well as a number of other VIP guests and Javier Contijoch, BYD Europe eBus Vice President of Sales.
The 48 units of 12-metre BYD low-entry eBuses are scheduled for delivery to Volánbusz later this year and represents the Hungarian PTO’s largest BYD eBus order to date. The pure-electric zero-emission buses will operate in five Hungarian cities: Győr, Zalaegerszeg, Szolnok, Szeged and Eger.
Volánbusz Zrt has previously taken delivery of two 12-metre eBuses, one of which was delivered to the Municipality of Salgótarján in 2018 and the other, to the city of Komárom in 2021, where it introduced cross-border pure-electric bus services across the Danube River to neighbouring Komárno in Slovakia, for the first time. The handover, on that occasion, was made at BYD’s manufacturing facility in Hungary in the presence of Peter Szijarto, Hungary’s Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade.
With over 6200 vehicles in its fleet, Volánbusz Zrt is the largest PTO in Hungary. Following this most recent multi-unit order placed with BYD in April, Volánbusz is now poised to significantly enhance its eco-friendly BYD electric bus fleet. Volánbusz launched its vehicle rejuvenation program in 2018, and has already replaced over 860 units with new vehicles. In line with this, is a strategy to replace 40% of its total bus fleet by the end of 2022, which includes further plans to invest in electric buses and charging infrastructure.
Significantly, all 48 eBuses on order will be built locally in BYD’s European manufacturing facility in Komárom, Hungary. While playing a major part in achieving environmental goals and zero-emission travel in the country, the order also benefits local people, through employment opportunities. BYD Electric Bus & Truck Hungary Kft is BYD’s first factory in Europe, supporting the ethos of ‘built in Europe, for Europe’. In 2021, the factory increased production capacity, accelerating annual output of a single shift to 400 electric buses.
The eBuses on order feature new generation BYD Iron-Phosphate Battery technology which has been developed through BYD’s world-leading expertise and pioneering innovation in batteries. Designed for optimised battery life, safety and reliability, the 343kWh battery capacity delivers a 300 km driving range on a single charge which also makes BYD eBuses a practical and efficient solution for city routes. In addition, the eBuses benefit from BYD’s Battery Thermal Management System with proven reliability in extreme weather conditions.
BYD eBuses also offer benefits to passenger comfort and safety. An upgraded interior layout, including a redesign of the handrail arrangement, increases passenger capacity while ambient lighting, USB charger ports and soundproof floor coverings enhance the overall passenger experience.
The 12-metre eBus is BYD’s best-selling model in Europe with over 1000 units currently operating in Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Hungary. Demand for this popular eBus continues to grow across Europe.
BYD has a successful track record in the Hungarian eBus market, with over 70 pure-electric buses in service or on order in 10 cities including Salgótarján, Tatabanya, Komárom, Pecs and Miskolc. BYD eBuses in Hungary have covered over 800,000 km, reducing CO2 emissions by 870 tonnes.
László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, said: “The Government continuously acts towards green public transport according to its ‘Climate and Environmental Protection Action Plan’. Hungary became a regional leader in the rate of renewable energy used in the sector during the past decade, reaching sixth position in Europe and gaining the best result in Central Europe in this field. The Government launched the ‘Green Bus Program’ for the quality upgrade of local bus fleets in rural cities with a budget of 36 billion HUF. This initiative is now to be expanded to settlements with population under 25 000, therefore new tenders for purchasing another 350 e-buses will be announced soon.”
László Vigh, Ministerial Commissioner, Member of Parliament stressed the importance of climate and nature protection, innovation and energy efficiency, saying: “The majority of public transport developments are realized in this spirit at Volánbusz. Climate neutrality by 2050 is one of the most important aims of the Government, and we are on the right track. Many high-profile developments have taken place in public transport: We are pleased to announce the arrival of these e-buses. These vehicles reduce pollution, and are more cost-efficient, meeting the highest environmental protection standards. This will contribute greatly to sustainability and a healthier environment for our children and grandchildren.”
Dr. Zoltán Pafféri, Chairman and CEO of Volánbusz Ltd., said: “Győr’s city public transport will have the second largest electric bus fleet right after Budapest, but the highest suburban mileage rate performed by e-buses will be in Zalaegerszeg (40%) where more than one third of the buses (33 vehicle) will be powered by electrical energy. The planned annual mileage of these vehicles will be the highest in Győr and Székesfehérvár with around 700 thousand kilometres a year.”
Javier Contijoch, BYD Europe eBus Vice President of Sales, said: “It is a great honour that BYD pure-electric buses have once again been chosen to assist Hungary in its efforts to build a clean, zero-emission public transport system. Volánbusz’s new eBuses will be assembled in BYD’s production facility in Hungary, right here in Komárom. While providing a clean, non-polluting travel experience for local passengers, it also supports the local economy by creating more employment opportunities for people in the region. BYD’s factory in Hungary is a fantastic example of cooperation between nations, and will continue to support the development of the NEV industry in Hungary and the whole of Europe.”