BYD launched Northeast Asia's largest fully electric bus fleet in Jeju Island, South Korea. (Photo courtesy of BYD)
New energy technology company BYD has launched 20 fully electric buses in South Korea's pristine Jeju Island on Tuesday, the largest project of its kind in Northeast Asia.
The BYD eBus-7, the only fully electric mid-size bus in the South Korean market, will operate in Udo, the largest island of Jeju Island.
The vehicle's compact 15-seater body enables it to navigate the narrow roads of this small island with ease and without producing carbon emissions. The eBus-7 can travel a minimum range of 200 kilometers on a single charge, and requires only two hours to be fully charged.
BYD has rapidly drawn the attention of South Korean officials since its market entry in 2015 with product features such as its plug-and-charge capability on its electric buses.
Last December, the company's president and founder Wang Chuanfu was among a group of industry delegates invited to attend a discussion with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his official visit to China. Prior to the visit, BYD also welcomed a group of 60 residents from Udo – approximately five percent of the local population – to personally inspect the eBus-7 model at BYD's Shenzhen headquarters before the order was placed.
"Our track record in renewable energy reflects our mission to do something for the environment with the highest quality," saidLiu Xueliang, general manager of BYD Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division."Having passed South Korea's rigorous vehicle safety standards, the eBus-7 is reflective of the excellent engineering behind our vehicles which are also suitable for the fragile terrain of Udo Island. "
Tuesday's launch represented another milestone for BYD, which has gradually evolved from a rechargeable battery manufacturer to a new energy giant since its establishment in 1995. BYD's electric vehicles have a footprint in more than 200 cities worldwide.