Business / Auto China

Electric car consortium inks bus deal with Poland

By Li Fangfang (China Daily) Updated: 2013-02-06 14:16

A Chinese electric vehicle consortium led by the Beijing Institute of Technology has signed agreements to help develop an electric bus network in Poland.

According to the agreements signed with Warsaw University of Technology and Tauron Polska Energia SA - the largest Polish electric power company - the Chinese side and Tauron will establish an electric vehicle public transportation system in Poland in the first phase.

Six electric buses with a platform developed by Beijing Institute of Technology, including a power battery swapping system, a battery charging and discharging station, and an emergency service system, will be made for the two-year trial project in Poland.

The Chinese group consists of BIT and its subsidiary BIT Huachuang Electric Vehicle Technology Co Ltd, along with CITIC Guoan Mengguli Power Science and Technology Co Ltd, and Shanghai Dianba New Energy Technology Co Ltd.

Six charging and swapping stations will later be set up in five Polish cities, with 780 purely electric buses in operation.

BIT Huachuang and Tauron will also seek to promote their jointly developed technology in other European countries.

As one of the earliest research units to develop a commercial purely electric vehicle power system platform, BIT has cooperated with more than 10 Chinese automobile companies, including Foton, Yutong, Zhongtong Bus and GAC Group, to produce more than 2,000 purely electric commercial vehicles.

It has also cooperated with Beijing Public Transport Holdings, CITIC Guoan Mengguli and Beijing Dianba on the operation of electric buses at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo, Guangzhou Asian Games, and the Chinese government's 10-city 1,000-electric vehicle program.

Analysts said the electric vehicles would remain primarily for public transportation because of government and corporate procurement.

Battery and electric car producer BYD Co Ltd has also started to enter overseas electric bus markets.

In December, the Warren Buffett-backed company said it will establish its first wholly owned overseas manufacturing plant in 2013 in the United States to produce electric buses.

The facility in California will be operational in 2013 and is expected to have an annual production capacity of more than 500 vehicles by 2015.

BYD has also signed a joint venture with a Bulgarian company to set up its first factory to assemble electric vehicles in the Eastern European country.

The first batch of 50 to 60 of its K9 electric buses is expected to roll off the production line this month.

The move was a result of BYD's aim to use local production to export its electric buses to more European countries, including the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark.

Besides Europe, BYD has signed agreements with local governments in Singapore, Uruguay, Canada and the United States on the use of its buses in public transportation.

According to a recent report from US-based market research and consulting firm Pike Research, the global market for electric buses is expected to grow steadily over the next six years, with a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent from 2012 to 2018.

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