The EV charging network spanning Québec is receiving another extension. Hydro-Québec ordered 50 kW fast-charging stations from AddEnergie to widen the Electric Circuit. It is the fourth successful bid for the local charging equipment provider.
The Electric Circuit is the first public charging network for electric vehicles in Quebec. It is run by state-owned Hydro-Québec. They have asked AddEnergie to provide more of their 50 kW charging stations, only how many the release fails to say.
Since 2013, AddEnergie has provided the Electric Circuit with nearly 1,500 charging stations, as well as contributing to network operations.
As part of this latest expansion phase, AddEnergie will adapt its network management platform to integrate the stations of another provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure selected by Hydro-Québec. This integration will be realised using the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP).
AddEnergie owns and operates the FLO charging network in Canada and supplies charging infrastructure and network operation services to third party networks such as the Electric Circuit (Quebec) and eCharge Network (New Brunswick).
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Bosch has announced they are developing a new electric drive system for delivery vehicles. The eCity Truck line may electrify vans up to 7.5 tons. First transporters utilising the new drive may hit the road in 2019 and can run with or without transmission.
Their engineers are tackling the field of inner-city logistics with an easy to integrate solution. The eCity Truck electric motor can “accommodate automakers’ differing requirements. These powertrain solutions can be scaled for light commercial vehicles weighing two to 7.5 metric tons,” says the Bosch.
The new powertrain combines multiple components such as an electric motor and power electronics into one unit. This is making the powertrain more efficient and more affordable as well, the supplier says.
The eCity Trucks solution is in line with other electrification offers in the Bosch portfolio. While the e-axle serves in passenger electric cars such as the electric cabs by LEVC for example, the new electric drive takes light commercial vehicles into account. However, Bosch is also thinking about heavier trucks. They are currently working with Nikola Motors on a solution for their electric trucks reportedly.
First electric vehicles with the eCity Trucks drive under the hood will launch in 2019.
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Tropos Motors has released a new battery pack for electric compact utility vehicles (eCUV) and claims it holds three times more range than power packs of competitors. The ABLE XR comes with a 26 kWh battery good for about 250 km. Launch is set in Q4/2018.
Tropos Motors not only wanted to beat competitors but also expanded its own offering. The ABLE XR offers four times more range compared to standard ABLE configurations. Carrying their largest battery pack, it means the eCUV can travel up to 72 kph for up to 250 km. The small and slow moving electric vehicle may tow a max of 3,000 pounds.
Like the standard ABLE eCUVs, the ABLE XR has a very short turning radius, the ability to swap bed packages quickly, and a load sensing brake proportioning system, hill-hold, reinforced doors, full length steel chassis, and a driver side airbag.
The Tropos ABLE XR is slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2018.
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The FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX) says it is to postpone the switch to all-electric cars. The move was initially planned for 2020 but manufacturers have now been given time until 2021. They will have to confirm their commitment to the electric format until March, 29, 2019.
While FIA had initially confirmed that the World Rallycross Championship (WRX) will use fully electric cars from 2020, the latest announcement delays this move by a year to 2021.
More clarity has been offered on the supply side though. FIA confirms the electric racers will be based on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis supplied by Oreca. Batteries will come from Williams Advanced Engineering. Each car will be powered by two 250kW motors which manufacturers will develop.
Independent teams may also enter the championship, either with cars supplied by manufacturers or using their own drivetrains and bodies developed from an FIA approved base design.
There will be opportunities at a number of 2020 World RX events for manufacturers and independent teams to showcase their electric vehicles.
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Munich-based startup Sono Motors has announced its entry into the Dutch market. A series of test ride events for their Sion electric car marks the start. They will hit a total of 18 cities in the Netherlands and Germany and estimate to offer 3,500 rides.
The test ride events in the Netherlands will kick off on September, 7 in Maastricht. Sono Motors claims growing demand for their urban electric car has led them to launch a new series of events.
“We passed the 5,000 reservations mark in June, thereby wrapping up a crucial phase,” says Laurin Hahn, CEO and one of the founders of Sono Motors. “This tour is our way of catering to the overwhelming demand for test drives. The Netherlands itself is a very interesting market for us as it is considered a pioneer in the field of electromobility. We therefore believe there is a great deal of potential for an electric car like the Sion and we look forward to entering the market,” adds Hahn.
The Sion comes with solar modules incorporated into the bodywork that generate a range of up to 30 kilometres a day, in addition to its basic range of 250 kilometres. The price is of 16,000 euros (not including the battery) is a particularly unique selling point though. Plus, the electric vehicle has integrated sharing functions.
To date, the company says it has received approximately 7,000 reservations for the electric car. The production of the Sion EV is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2019, with the support of a yet-unnamed European contract manufacturer.
Most recently, Sono Motors has reenforced its board that now comprises of six members, among them experienced executives. New COO is Thomas Hausch, last responsible for e-mobility at Nissan with previous roles at Daimler and Chrysler. Isa Krupka has joined as Chief Communications Officer (CCO) reportedly.
Siemens and Berlin-based Ubitricity have been selected to help London improve EV charging infrastructure by retrofitting street lamps. They are 2 of 8 organisations in the Go-ultra Low City Scheme through which London expects to deliver 1,150 charge points by the end of 2020.
The Go-ultra Low City Scheme framework contract provides £3.7 million to help deliver charging points across London boroughs. The initiative is hosted by Transport for London (TfL), London Councils and the Greater London Authority.
Siemens and Ubitricity are to provide on street electric vehicle charging solutions to the British capital. The two companies are one of four providers turning street lights into EV charging points.
Siemens here serves as longstanding partner to Tfl and will be using Ubitricity’s mobile electricity metering technology. Knut Hechtfischer, the founder of ubitricity describes the partnership: “By working with Siemens to deliver our technology this (easy EV charging) is now becoming a reality for all Londoners. If we want to improve the air quality in London, electric vehicle charging must be available to all, whether you happen to park on-street or off-street.”
Ubitricity technology means drivers would park next to the street lamp and ideally connect to it using a special cable. This cable is fitted with a meter, which identifies the charging point and turns on the power. The data is sent digitally to a mobile power supplier who would bill for the electricity consumed. For customers using a standard cable, charging will be authorised through a mobile site.
It is not the first gig for Ubitricity in the UK capital. The startup has been working with London’s Chelsea and Kensington district reportedly and has allegedly played a part in Wandsworth EV charging infrastructure campaign (we reported). Ubitricity retrofitted the first London lamppost with charge points in 2016, and now has around 300 charging points across London.
It takes less than hour to convert a street lamp, a fraction of the time to install a separate charging station.
The Go-ultra Low City scheme is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The project is aiming to help London boroughs to deliver 1,150 charge points by the end of 2020.
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China’s major new energy vehicle maker BYD is heading into Thailand. They delivered 101 electric cars of type e6 to Bangkok and a thousand more are yet to come. The new EVs will serve as VIP taxis and as part of a car sharing service in the Thai capital.
BYD of China has been seen expanding their market globally. In Thailand however, this last order poses a major advance. Says Liu Xueliang general manager of BYD’s Asia-Pacific Automotive Sales Division: “We are very pleased that Thailand has joined us.”
The order also builds on another export agreement in which BYD delivered the K9 electric bus to Bangkok for a trial reportedly.
The 101 e6 electric cars that just made it to Thailand, are part of a much larger order that totals over 1,000 electric vehicles. They will be used as VIP taxis and become part of a car club as well (we reported).
The e6 is powered by BYD’s lithium iron phosphate battery with a range of up to 400 kilometres on a single charge. The electric car model is serving in other taxi fleets around the world as well, i.e. in Ecuador and for Uber in Singapore.
In Thailand, BYD vehicles have been present since 2012 when the e6 was deployed as the official car for the country‟s largest utility MEA. In addition, the e6 and the K9 electric bus was also adopted by the country’s industrial and commercial giant Loxley Group to kick start its ‘Thailand electrification strategy’.
The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) has published its latest innovation ranking for 2018. The study shows: Tesla is far ahead of established carmakers when it comes to electric mobility. And China too is catching up fast.
While the Germans may lead overall and particularly when it comes to “improvements” to the internal combustion engines, Tesla and China’s manufacturers too are becoming increasingly innovative in what we consider future fields.
To put the numbers in context: for this year’s study, CAM analysed and categorised more than 1,200 innovations filed in 2017/18 in order to evaluate the individual power to innovate of 36 car companies from Europe, Japan, the USA and China.
Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler lead the overall ranking, with the Wolfsburg-based company (including its brands VW, Audi and Porsche) having filed a total of 233 individual innovations, including 45 world firsts, that position them right on top of the list.
The Germans are followed by Toyota that gained most among all carmakers and thus secures rank 4 in the innovation list, 11 positions higher than last year. Their innovative strength lies in automated and connected driving mostly and was also driven by Lexus.
And than there is a Tesla that made a brilliant third place last year and slipped to a good fifth place in this year’s overall ranking.
When it comes to China, Geely was the only Chinese manufacturer among the top 25 two years ago. This year however, there are eight. Particularly quick to catch up was Nio through their electric car brand NextEV that drove them straight onto position 13.
Looking at the ranking from an e-mobility point of view, it is noticeable that only 3 to 1 percent of the German leading trio’s innovative strength comes from that field (and 13 to 11 percent from the improvement of the combustion engine!). The same goes for Toyota that draws 8% of strength from ICEs. CAM puts the meagre result of the Germans into perspective, saying that the percentage will change once current product developments will take hold in the coming years.
Yet, by comparison, 40 percent of Tesla’s innovative strength is firmly anchored in the field of electric transport. Tesla recorded 24 innovations in the study, including 8 world firsts. CAM emphasises the Californian’s striking focus on future fields of connectivity, ADAS and pure e-mobility. It accounts for 86 percent of Tesla’s total innovative strength.
Speaking of striking: The study also sketches how remarkably quick Chinese companies are catching up. Nio, Geely and Great Wall occupy ranks 13 to 15, followed by five other manufacturers from the People’s Republic. Different from German manufacturers, Chinese carmakers almost completely ignored internal combustion engine technology. The study too identifies alternative drives and connected/autonomous driving as future technologies.
For 13 years, CAM has been collecting several hundred vehicle innovations per quarter, categorised in approximately 50 criteria such as technology, type of innovation, originality (world’s first), degree of maturity (series-ready), etc.. They are then evaluated using the MOBIL approach. This results in an index value for each innovation, which can be condensed into overall values for individual groups, brands or models. CAM considers itself an independent institute for empirical automotive research and strategic consulting.
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One of China’s largest producer of solar power, GCL, is looking to tap into the new energy vehicle business as they want EV manufacturers to set up shop close to their new production base in an eco-town. The initiative is an attempt to get ahead of an ever more crowded industry.
GCL is currently building a 5 billion yuan solar production base. The construction in a new “eco-town” at Jurong near the city of Nanjing will also involve building solar-powered residences, warehouses and public amenities.
But the town’s 2-gigawatt solar panel production line will go into operation this year, at a time when China’s solar industry is struggling with overcapacity, weak demand and frictions.
That is why GCL is reaching out to new energy vehicle manufacturers to build facilities and production lines around their new base. Reuters quotes Tang Yanzhe, the head of the Jurong project, saying: “Our investment figures are very conservative and if the car firms come, it is a long industrial chain and many supporting factories will also come.”
Jurong is part of a “special town” scheme launched by Jiangsu in order to encourage investment in strategic sectors. Solar power used to be one of them but after generation capacity rose by a record 53 GW in 2017, the government in Beijing has put the brakes on new installations this year. GCL will thus put only half its new capacity into operation in 2018 so production does not expand too quickly.
Moreover, GLC is exploring alternative models and aims to produce lower-cost batteries that can be rented out to drivers and eventually recycled for use in stationary energy storage. In terms of vehicles, the firm’s focus is on public transport and deliveries.
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Volkswagen has kicked-off a new campaign promoting electric vehicles in the USA. But it is not just their electric cars that are featured but EVs of 5 different brands (all but one). Why? Because they must as part of Electrify America, VW’s court-mandated effort.
Electrify America is Volkswagen’s subsidiary tasked with setting up a DC charging network across the United States. The 2-billion dollar effort follows from the dieselgate scandal and includes the promotion of electric vehicles in general. So general in fact, that the latest advert features the most popular electric cars in the States – apart from one.
At the end of the spot, Electrify America shows electric models from six automakers driving off into the sunset: the Chevy Bolt EV, the BMW i3, the VW e-Golf, the Honda Clarity Electric, and the Nissan Leaf. A Tesla model is missing, probably not just because they have their own Supercharger network.
Electrify America must complete their DC charging network by 2025.
A new fleet of electric postal vans has been introduced in South Essex by Royal Mail. The Eldon Way site is one of 18 UK-wide locations to have been fitted with charging stations with 100 electric vans in use around the country in total.
In South Essex, six new electric vans replace older models that had reached the end of their service life. The vans are being used by postmen and women on their delivery rounds.
Royal Mail is also using larger commercial electric vehicles to move mail within its network. While the German post builds its own StreetScooter electric vehicles, the British service turned to local manufacturer Arrival. They have been trialling three types of electric trucks such as a six-ton, 3.5-ton and 7.5-ton trucks since last year. Moreover, Royal Mail, ordered 100 electric Peugeot vans in 2017.
Arrival is also working with UPS on a new electric van for deliveries reportedly.
Exicom of India has made the winning bid for setting up electric vehicle charging stations in Madhya Pradesh, India. The offer for the NTPC Tender includes 120kW and 50kW charging stations and DC chargers of CCS standard for electric buses.
Exicom has not disclosed how many charging stations they are to set up across Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Yet the company claims it had installed both AC and DC fast chargers with Bharat specifications to charge the Tata Tigor and Mahindra e-Verito cars procured by EESL earlier.
They have now further expanded the offering by introducing high voltage GB/T, CHAdeMO and CCS compatible ‘Harmony’ EV chargers.
In another region, the Mumbai area to be precise, charging infrastructure will also advance. The State government has awarded the contract to set up 50 charging stations to M/s K. Solar Group. Within three months the joint venture company is to install 10 stations each in Thane, Panvel and Pune, and along the Mumbai-Pune and the Mumbai-Nagpur expressways. The group will also build the so-called ‘Prosperity Corridor’ between Mumbai and Nagpur.
Efficient Drivetrains (EDI) is making its EDI PowerDrive 4000ev available in North America. It is suited for Type-A school buses and comes as a kit for easy electrification. With 26M students, the U.S. school bus fleet is bigger than commercial buses, trains, and air travel services combined.
Efiicient Drivetrains latest offering rounds out the company’s all-electric school bus portfolio, spanning the full spectrum for Type C, D, and A, in the North American market.
The EDI PowerDrive 4000ev turns any Type-A school bus into an electric vehicle. While operators may retrofit the bus themselves, EDI is also available to install the powertrain systems and perform vehicle integration as a service for OEMs.
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Battery maker CATL of China rushes to gain a competitive advantage over its Korean counterparts. The firm says it will be first to launch the new low-cobalt and energy-dense NCM 811 battery cells for electric cars next year.
While this move was also planned by Korea’s SK Innovation and LG Chem, their pouch cells have recently been delayed. Plans of SK Innovation to make batteries from nickel, cobalt and manganese that would allow a range of up to 500 kilometres for electric vehicles had first been made public in September 2017 reportedly. While the launch was scheduled for this year, the cells are being tested in more controlled scenarios such as electric bus and stationary energy storage for the time being.
CATL however is in a greater hurry and says their NCM 811 cells shall hit the market next year. Current CATL cells are NMC 532, which means the cathode is 20 % cobalt. With the introduction of NCM 811 battery cells the cobalt content per kWh is to halve while energy density is said to increase.
And CATL may find huge demand. The company had scored large supply agreements with mostly German carmakers recently. BMW agreed to buy cells worth over a billion euros and had recommended Erfurt as site for CATL European battery factory reportedly. The CATL battery production in Erfurt will run at full capacity from 2022. They will also deal with clients such as Volkswagen and Daimler that set up supply contracts with the Chinese manufacturer for the I.D. series as well as the EQ brand. Furthermore, PSA and Renault-Nissan will likely be sourcing some battery cells made in Erfurt from CATL too.
However, who will benefit from the new NCM 811 cells prior to this remains to be seen. The Volkswagen Neo and maybe even the BMW i3 could be contenders for the new battery cells for electric cars.
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The City of London Corporation that controls the centre of the British capital is introducing emissions based charges for parking in the Square Mile. Drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles will pay less as emissions are detected automatically through the RingGo app.
The initiative is part of the boroughs Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) scheme of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee. They had rolled out a cargo bike scheme run jointly with zero-emission delivery operator Zedify in the area earlier. Jointly funded by the Mayor of London, plans for LEN include new EV charging stations, green taxi ranks and other air quality projects in the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate areas.
The latest scheme that is to start on August, 20, is thus targeting drivers looking for on street parking rather than businesses. The new parking charges will use RingGo’s Emissions Based Parking product. The tool will automatically assess the type of vehicle being parked and charge tariffs based on the level of pollution emitted by the car. Tariffs start at 1 pound per 15 minutes for electrified vehicles and go up to 1.30 GBP for newer diesel vehicles.
The RingGo app is a cashless parking solution. Chris Hayward, planning and transportation committee chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “98% of all parking in the City is paid for by mobile phone so RingGo’s Emissions Based Parking is a great way of reminding motorists of the impact of their journey each and every time they travel.”
City residents in the Barbican now have access to 30 electric vehicle charging points. The London borough has also introduced a City-wide 20mph zone.
London is working on cleaning up its air in general. The introduction of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has recently been sped up and enlarged. The ULEZ will be expanded up to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021 reportedly and will cover an area 18 times larger than the ULEZ in Central London.
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PowerCell of Sweden has teamed up with Siemens. They want to develop fuel cells for marine systems together. The aim is to integrate PowerCell’s fuel cells into Siemens’ existing systems for the marine segment.
Siemens has had begun to electrify their BlueDrive line with batteries last year already. Yet, by signing this latest memorandum of understanding with Swedish PowerCell, Siemens is adding fuel cell drives to their marine lineup for the first time. Such a hydrogen-filled system can then power ferries, yachts and cruise ships for example.
Per Wassén, CEO of PowerCell sees “a great potential for the cooperation,” due to the marine industry increasingly trying to introduce low emission solutions. The U.N. International Maritime Organization (IMO) has called to reduce emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 from 2008 levels reportedly.
For Siemens, the new partnership builds on their electrification of marine systems. Siemens batteries for ships with electric drives are currently being made in Norway starting this year. The move had cost Siemens 10.5 million euros (100m Norwegian Krona) but the company expects to profit from low cost for green energy from hydropower. Two all electric ships, the Future of the Fjords and Boreal’s electric ferry, are currently on the docks awaiting their launch into Norwegian waters upon completion. The first ever electric ferry in Norway however, had already been built with Siemens technology back in 2015 (we reported). Their BlueDrive technology also powers the salmon farming electric vessel Elfrida in Norway since 2015.
In terms of fuel cell drives for ships, Siemens and PowerCell are not the only one that have jumped on board. ABB and Ballard recently agreed to develop a system to power ships with fuel cells as well. Their system for hydrogen-powered ships aims to generate 3MW or 4,000 hp and fit within a single module no bigger than a conventional boat motor.
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Faraday Future has set-up its operating headquarters in China, according to Evergrande Health, which owns a 45 percent stake in the electric vehicle startup. Five more bases for research and development are to follow across the country in the next ten years.
The new headquarters, called Evergrande FF Intelligent Automotive (China) Co., Ltd, will take over technology research and development, as well as all the entire production, operation and management of FF in China.
Faraday Future has come back from the (almost) dead lately through a two-billion-dollar infusion. First Season Smart had promised the investment but had handed over the deal to Evergrande (we reported). The property developer is to pour the outstanding 1.2 billion dollars into Faraday Future after they had bought the 45% stake from Season Smart reportedly.
Prior to the offer of a helping hand, the electric car venture had almost nothing but financial problems, mostly due to its founder and LeEco boss Jia Yueting. He remains as CEO at Faraday Future and the startup says the funding will help them build production facilities as well as to progress in R&D. In addition, Michael Agosta has taken over as CFO. He succeeded Stefan Krause, who had left Faraday Future in order to work with Evelozcity set up by another FF employee; Ulrich Kranz.
Apart from their new base in China, Faraday Future has also been progressing its home base in the USA. Evergrande Health says FF’s first electric vehicle, FF91, has arrived in the United States and that assembly has begun at the Hanford factory. The FF 91 is the first serial model by the Chinese-American company, and is designed for autonomous driving. Features include a four-wheel drive with 782 kW performance and an NEFZ range of 700 km. The electric vehicle debuted at the CES 2017.
Evergrande and Faraday Future say they are gearing up to make up to five million electric cars per year in both China and the United States.
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Tesla has been tuning the pricing for the Model 3 a lot lately. Only the much awaited 35,000 dollar version has never materialised. This is to change soon though, a new report suggest, that quotes Elon Musk making the affordable Model 3 a priority.
At the moment though, any Tesla Model 3 available on the configurator calls for 49,000 dollars at least. But a new design for the battery module is to change that and bring Tesla closer to its initial promise of delivering a mass market ready electric vehicle.
The news materialised on Twitter after Electrek called on the Tesla boss to specify their latest advances in design. Elon Musk took the opportunity to prioritise “making (the) affordable version of the Model 3 and bringing Y to market”.
Production design will be better, especially in details. We are dying to do this, but primary focus must remain on making affordable version of Model 3 & bringing Y to market
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 11, 2018
In order to do so, Musk pointed to an upcoming redesign of the battery module for the lower priced Model 3. The report also pointed to the Tesla CEO mentioning that in the investors call earlier this month. Quote Musk: “We came up with a new design that achieves the same outcome, that’s actually lighter, better, cheaper and we will be introducing that around the end of this year – probably reach volume production on that in Q1 or something. That will make the car lighter, better, and cheaper and achieve a higher range.”
The production line is currently in the making and should be ready within six months.
Prior to this, Tesla had actually incentivised buying the more expensive performance and AWD versions of the Model 3 though (we reported). The Performance variant of the Model 3 comes with two motors and the 500 km range, but offers superior speed performance, with a startup time to 60 mph of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). However, these trims cost from 49,000 to up to 64,000 dollars with the promise to be delivered first.
Segways are the new bulls it appears, at least in this video. It shows a Segway completely off balance if not to say this gyroscopic electric vehicle has gone wild.
Two sensible humans thought lassoing it would be a great idea. Fortunately, there was a third who knew that videoing the whole episode would be even more entertaining. It appears the last mile (of rope) has become a last resort.
When you find out people are betting scooter companies to be the last mile transportation option pic.twitter.com/oX8AOKILk0
— Nikhil Krishnan (@nikillinit) August 10, 2018
BYD has received the official order from the US state Georgia for the statewide delivery of public transit vehicles, particularly electric buses. The bid for the supply of buses for the state capital Atlanta was also won by BYD.
In Atlanta, the medium and heavy electric vehicles, as well as taxis from BYD will help the city reach it’s goal of reducing green house gases by 20% by 2020, cutting down 40% by 2030, compared to 2009 levels.
Specific numbers of buses have not been publicly disclosed, but BYD did mention in their statement that the delivery contract for were convenient for cities and states to order from a single source. This likely alludes to rebates due to order numbers, as well as shorter delivery times due to less involved participants.
At the same time, BYD has also received an order from Canada for another nine electric buses. These will be used in Montreal and Longueuil, and the order was made by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL).
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