Ding-ding! The next new BYD is an all-electric double-decker bus for London

Published: 24 May 2024 Updated: 24 May 2024

► BYD BD11 is a new EV London bus
► 532kWh Blade Battery, 500kW charging
► 0-100 per cent charge in two hours

That sense of BYD as some kind of unstoppable force in the electric vehicle market just got another hit, as the Chinese firm has now whipped the – very large – covers off a new red double-decker bus. Making its global debut at the London Bus Museum, the BYD BD11 will start picking up passengers ‘shortly’.

Designed specifically for London – with ‘provincial versions’ to follow – the BD11 is intended to take full advantage of BYD’s energy-dense Blade Battery technology. Built to be as safe as possible, the Blade Battery also offers very fast charging and up to 532kWh of capacity.

An electric double-decker bus?

This is not that new. The London Bus Museum (at Brooklands) was chosen for the launch location in part because it houses the first electric bus with a BYD K9E chassis that was used in London, but there are already around 1000 battery-electric models operating in the capital.

The plan is for the entire London bus fleet to be zero emissions by 2030. Currently it’s a mix of diesel hybrid, BEV and hydrogen fuel cells.

So what’s the collective noun for people with range anxiety?

Oh shush. As if that massive battery wasn’t reassuring enough – that 532kWh maximum size is apparently market-leading – the BD11 has some serious charging tricks as well.

Press conference for the BYD BD11 London bus, a fully electric red double-decker

With dual-gun and pantograph fast charging it can accept up to 500kW. Enough power to enable 0-100 per cent in just two hours, making even a passenger car as impressively fast charging as the Porsche Taycan seem lethargic.

BYD hasn’t released any range estimates, but we’re guessing all that means it ought to have enough.

Any other technical details?

AS is typical of BYD’s Blade approach, the battery is fully integrated into the chassis. This is said to increase driving range as well as improve stability, manoeuvrability and passenger space. Thermal management is similarly incorporated at a fundamental level.

BYD says it’s the only firm in the world that makes all its own EV powertrain components – with the motors, control units and automotive semiconductors as well as the batteries all developed in-house. Which ought to help with efficiency, too.

In addition to that, the BD11 gets active suspension and a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Digital Automotive Hub and former Associate Editor of CAR. Road tester, organiser, reporter and professional enthusiast, putting the driver first