NEW YORK--Alcoa (NYSE: AA) today announced it has developed a new all-aluminum space frame and bus design for BYD that has reduced the weight of the new BYD Electric Bus body by 40 percent, or nearly one ton, versus steel options. The first two BYD Electric Bus prototypes were launched this week in Changsha City, Hunan Province, China.
In addition to reducing the weight of the bus body, Alcoa solutions including Alcoa forged wheels and Huck Spin® fasteners reduced the overall bus weight by 1.2 tons in total. The combined weight savings are expected to help improve the overall range of the electric bus by at least 10 percent. The new bus has a range of approximately 300 kilometers (188 miles) on a full charge.
BYD plans to produce thousands of the electric buses for the China and Southeast Asia markets and will also export the buses globally. Alcoa will be the exclusive supplier of the new bus design as well as sheet product from its Bohai rolling mill in Qinhuangdao, Hebei. Alcoa will also be the exclusive supplier of forged aluminum wheels and fasteners to the project. Additional terms were not disclosed.
The new bus design builds on Alcoa’s leading capabilities in safe transportation design, including automotive and ground transportation space frame technologies for leading brands such as Ferrari and Audi, among others.
“It is certainly impressive that we were able to drop more than 1.2 tons from the weight of BYD’s new electric bus compared to steel,” said Jinya Chen, President of Alcoa’s Asia-Pacific region. “However, this design is about more than just weight. The new design is durable, corrosion resistant, infinitely recyclable and expected to increase the range by at least 10 percent and withstand the rigors of everyday city driving.”
“We are pleased to have worked with a global expert in transportation such as Alcoa as we began work on this new electric bus program,” said Xie Shibin Vice President of BYD Auto Research Institute. “Alcoa’s design and materials combined with our expertise in the market make this new bus the best in the industry in terms of emissions, range, safety and performance.”
BYD is ranked #1 at the top of Bloomberg’s and BusinessWeek's 2009 Tech 100 List and is the leading manufacturer of advanced, environmentally-friendly battery technologies like BYD’s Iron Phosphate battery. BYD’s solar panels and LED lighting systems have TUV/CE and UL listings, and the company enjoys rapid growth in consumer electronics space and automobile manufacturing under its BYD brand. With investments from Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings, today, BYD is the fastest-growing Chinese automotive and green energy technology manufacturer. The Company trades on the Hong Kong exchange.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for ten consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.