BYD (UK) Ltd. recently hosted a panel of key stakeholders from UK government and British industry at an important webinar entitled, ‘Building Back Better: Buses Powering the Green Recovery’, supported by UK100, UK’s leading network of local government leaders.
Independent experts together put forward a compelling case for eMobility as a viable, long-term proposition for public transport.
The online event offered a platform for prominent individuals and organisations to deliver their independent views on a number of topics, including the fundamental role of public transport and the economics of eMobility at local and central government level. Chairing the Webinar was high-profile public transport expert, Leon Daniels OBE.
The webinar also provided BYD with an opportunity to emphasise its extensive experience in the field of eMobility, battery technology and energy management, and presenting a convincing case for governments and local authorities to adopt electrification which is available now, as opposed to alternative drive systems promised for sometime in the future, such as hydrogen.
The ‘Building Back Better’ Webinar included keynote addresses from, among others, James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority – Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP, former UK Transport Minister – Mary Creagh, former Shadow Transport Minister now CEO Living Streets – Polly Billington, Director at UK100 – and Natasha Patel, Energy, EV, Mobility Director at Baringa Partners.
In his address, James Palmer was keen to support the use of public transport, saying: “Our challenge is to make public transport in the future so good that people choose it over car ownership. Franchising is perhaps the best answer when trying to make bus companies more ecologically-minded and bring forward better and cleaner buses. If we do not provide the right transport links and greener technology, the economy will not grow as we want it to. The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed us to look very carefully at what we can achieve through our bus network in the future.”
Mary Creagh said: “We are now facing a profound moment in which we must act to reallocate road space to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. We know that one double-decker bus takes 75 cars off the road, and if everyone switched one car journey per month to the bus, it would save two million tonnes of CO2 each year. Electric buses and other forms of public transport have a critical role to play in our economic recovery and the pursuit of lower emissions on our roads.”
Leading Public Transport Operator, Go-Ahead, was able to provide its view on how a bus franchising model could be rolled-out across the country, with input from managing director, John Trayner. He said: “We’re at the stage now where a nationwide roll-out is certainly up for debate, and I do think that the model is working well in London. I think that combination of regulated and unregulated approaches can work, but the challenge for us going forward is making sure we work with the right partners.”
The event also provided a platform for BYD once again to describe the many advantages of eMobility and its ability to deliver significant improvements in air quality. BYD Europe MD Isbrand Ho, said: “BYD is already delivering a significant number of electric buses to customers across the world, working closely with local governments, transport agencies and operators to help lower emissions and to satisfy their needs. We are always anticipating the requirements of our customers. For example, in response to the pandemic we immediately made available options to fully enclose the driver cab, provide hand sanitiser equipment, measure passengers’ temperatures and improve air filtration on our buses.”
Frank Thorpe, MD of BYD UK, added his thoughts, remarking: “BYD delivers a truly unique solution incorporating all the core technologies of an electric vehicle. This is crucial here in the UK, where we have put over 400 eBuses into operation together with our partner ADL.
“In order to emerge from the pandemic with a green recovery, we need to select the most efficient and viable solutions. That is, I believe, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), as opposed to Hydrogen Electric Vehicles. Per kilowatt of energy generated, a BEV will deploy 70 per cent of this energy to the road, compared to the 15-25 per cent deployed by a hydrogen vehicle.”
Leon Daniels OBE concluded the event by saying: “From today’s discussions it seems that zero emissions buses are a win, win, win. They are a win for air quality and public health; they are a win for the economies in our towns and cities; and they are a win for the environment. We only hold the earth for future generations, and that in itself is surely reason enough to get on with it.”