Chinese EV maker BYD gearing up for e-bus sales in Japan

28, Mar. 2019

An electric bus of Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. (L) is being charged in Tomigusuku, Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on March 18, 2019. BYD launched e-bus sales in Japan on March 25. (NNA/Kyodo)
An electric bus of Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. (L) is being charged in Tomigusuku, Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on March 18, 2019. BYD launched e-bus sales in Japan on March 25. (NNA/Kyodo)

TOKYO, NNA - Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. is gearing up to promote its electric buses in Japan as part of its global expansion of e-mobility.

The company began receiving booking orders on Monday for the J6 model at a price of 19.5 million yen ($177,000) before tax, targeting sales of 1,000 units in Japan by 2024, Shinsaku Hanada, executive vice president of BYD Japan Co., told reporters in Tokyo.

The cost would reduce by a third if its e-bus becomes subject to a subsidy program hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, he said.

The 7-meter-long electric bus, with a seating capacity of up to 31, can run more than 200 kilometers on a three-hour charge. It is the longest distance achieved by electric buses running in Japan, Hanada said.

J6, specifically designed for the Japanese market, is an upgraded model of K6, which can run 150 km per full charge and 1,500 units of which have been sold around the world. J6 employs an aluminum body to make it lighter, he said.

The Chinese firm said it has sold over 50,000 electric buses in more than 50 countries and regions, with about 17,000 units sold in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, where it is headquartered and produces e-buses for sale in Japan.

In Japan, BYD has so far sold 23 e-buses, some of which are in operation in Okinawa Prefecture and Kyoto city in western Japan. Its e-buses will also operate this summer in Oze National Park northeastern Japan, according to Hanada.

“We would like to facilitate the use (of our e-buses) for local communities,” Hanada said. (NNA/Kyodo)