The two companies confirmed a £19 million deal to develop the first large scale, zero-emission single-deck bus fleet for Go-Ahead London. In total, 51 vehicles will be delivered to the operator by August 2016 and deployed on its routes between Waterloo and Victoria.
The buses will be built on BYD chassis and powered by BYD's electric drivetrain. Bodies will be built by Alexander Dennis (ADL), incorporating its Enviro200 midi bus design.
BYD and ADL say that working together means they can combine the proven expertise of BYD's electric buses – it has 3,500 in service – with ADL's design and build capability. Go-Ahead's order of 90-seater vehicles will, they say, offer some of the most advanced zero-emission buses in the world – and, crucially, will also enable the two organisations to work together on future projects.
"Our deep experience of not only battery technology but the critical battery management systems and driveline components necessary to deliver unequalled range and reliability are matched to ADL's strong track record in building low weight, attractive and durable buses," says Isbrand Ho, managing director of BYD Europe.
Colin Robertson, CEO of ADL, described the alliance with BYD as a "quantum leap into the future".
He adds: "Our combined strengths and, critically, the unified aftermarket support we are putting in place to support Go-Ahead London in the long term, represents a fundamental of our combined business philosophy.
"The backing of Go-Ahead – in the form of this £19m contract – is a huge confidence booster and we are delighted to have emerged alongside BYD as the preferred bidder in what was a highly competitive process involving a raft of global competitors.
"I see this new initiative as a major turning point for ADL and our new technology partner BYD."