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BYD e-buses land in Okinawa

OKINAWA, Japan – A fleet of 10 pure electric buses manufactured by Chinese new energy technology company BYD started operating on the island of Okinawa, Japan, marking the beginning of the island’s electrified public transportation initiative.

The 10 BYD K9 buses now run a shuttle service to and from the Naha Port of Okinawa, which hosts millions of visitors each year. 

This is the second batch of electric buses delivered by BYD to the Japanese market. In February 2015, a bus company in Kyoto, Japan took delivery of five BYD K9 buses, making BYD the first Chinese auto company to enter the Japanese market.

The K9 e-bus is powered with its self-developed lithium-iron phosphate batteries, which allow the bus to travel 250 km on a single charge under urban road conditions. The low-floor bus is equipped with bi-directional inverter charging and discharging technology, wheel drive system, keyless system and electronically controlled air suspension system. Considering the situation that there are frequent earthquakes in Japan, the K9 also has VTOL feature, which can serve as a large mobile power source (324 kWh) to supply electricity to devices outside the bus such as refrigerators and induction cookers.

“After the outstanding performance of the BYD K9 fleet operation in Kyoto, we were compelled to bring this model to Okinawa,” said a Japanese local government official. “This is the first time that a zero-emission, pure electric mode of public transportation is implemented in Okinawa, and I hope this will be a widespread model throughout Japan.”

“We hope to bring more environmentally friendly travel experiences to Japanese citizens and visitors alike, and promote the development of sustainable public transportation in Japan,” said Liu Xueliang, general manager of BYD’s Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division. “We are confident that BYD’s experience in commercial operations in hundreds of cities around the world will ensure the success of this undertaking.”

At present, BYD’s electric vehicles have a footprint in more than 200 cities across 50 countries and regions.

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