Business / Companies

Yutong trialing green buses in Paris

By Wang Wen and Shi Baoyin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-11 09:26

Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co Ltd, based in Central China's Henan province, could be on the way to becoming the first Chinese firm to have its buses running regularly on the streets of Paris.

This follows a decision to name the company an Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports Group, which sees it operating five new-energy buses on a trial basis during the ongoing World Climate Change Conference 2015 in the French capital, the only non-European firm to be granted this status.

The trial operation means that Yutong, one of the world's largest bus manufacturers, is a potential supplier for RATP (Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports Group), which plans to replace all 9,200 buses in the Ile-de-France region - the region which includes Paris - with new-energy buses by 2020.

"RATP is evaluating our products and may place orders in the future," said Chang Hao, vice-general manager of Yutong Bus' international business department.

Although the firm still faces the challenge of competing with European manufacturers to win the much-coveted order from RATP, it has great confidence in its new-energy technology and products, Chang said.

"If the car industry is representative of 'Made in China', new-energy vehicles represent 'Created in China'. Our products are capable of meeting the needs of a high-end market such as Europe," he said.

Yutong Bus has invested heavily in its new-energy products since 2012, and has built a 180 hectare industrial park focusing on its new-energy buses.

The company has already sold around 10,000 new-energy buses in the first 11 months of 2015, while it sold a total of 56,696 vehicles during the period, Chang said.

Yutong has a full range of new-energy products across more than 100 categories for different uses, he said, adding that compared with overseas markets, new-energy buses are used more in China, as part of the Chinese government's effort to cut emissions.

"Chinese public transportation companies welcome the new-energy buses, especially gas-electric hybrid buses," said Yao Mingde, head of the China Road Transport Association.

The government encourages using new-energy buses on the public transport system and provides subsidies for operators, which is attractive for public transportation firms, Yao said.

However, "the cost of new-energy technology remains high," said Chang. Yutong Bus invests more than 3 percent of its profits in new product research and development annually, he said.

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