First posted on 7 Nov 2016. Updated on 31 May 2017 – End of Trial
On Monday, 07 November 2016, Go-Ahead Singapore’s BYD K9 electric bus entered revenue service. Deployed on Bus Service 17 to start off its six-month trial, it is Singapore’s first 100% electric bus, with only hybrid-electric and hydrogen fuel cell transit buses being previously trialled locally.
The six-month trial was initiated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), which confirmed on 5 August 2016 that a BYD Electric Bus (BYD K9) would be involved in the trial, as reported by local news outlet The Straits Times. It said that LTA was working with Shenzhen-based automaker BYD and bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore on a six-month trial to assess the suitability of e-buses for public transport, in a pilot which could see more of such green vehicles being used for mass transport.
The LTA said that BYD will implement the necessary charging infrastructure at Go-Ahead‘s depot in Loyang to support the e-bus operation. The K9 bus requires between 5 and 10 hours to be charged fully, allowing it to run for 250km, but its range could be lower due to the warm climate in Singapore, with additional battery power used up for cooling.
The e-bus trial is part of the EV test bed led by LTA and the Economic Development Board to trial fleet-based EV operations, a follow-up to the earlier phase which ended three years ago and involved individual corporate users. The LTA also added that the bus will operate trips on top of those scheduled, and hence will not cause an adverse impact on service levels.
The bus was registered as SG4001J, with the chassis number LC06S24S7D0000004 and Year Of Manufacture stated as 2013, indicating that the BYD Bus involved in the trial is indeed the exact same bus that was housed in NTU back in 2015.
In the months before the start of the trial, SG4001J was housed at the Smart Innovation Centre along Ubi Avenue 4, an authorized dealer for BYD Auto. The bus occupied a sheltered lot with a specialised charging station.
The bus also bore a green-themed livery which promoted its environmentally-friendly aspects. In its initial version, there were additional decals over the windows, which were removed shortly before the bus was registered.
On Sunday, 30 October 2016, Go-Ahead confirmed that the BYD K9 will enter service in early November, starting with Service 17 before bring trialed on other routes.
The livery was changed yet again shortly before trial commencement to comply with the Commercial Advertising on Bus Contracting Model Buses regulation, which requires the front 1/3 of the bus to be completely free of advertising. This was done by JE Graphics Pte Ltd again.
Debut (Service 17)
The interior was also fitted with revenue collection equipment, which is the New Onboard Bus Equipment (NOBE) consisting of farecard readers and a driver’s console, as well as a coinbox, and the Trapeze Common Fleet Management System. The bus is wheelchair-accessible for the purposes of this trial, with a passenger-in-wheelchair spotted onboard the bus in the afternoon of 7 November 2016.
On Monday, 20 February 2017, SG4001J made its debut on Go-Ahead Bus Service 119, plying from Punggol Temp Int and looping at Hougang Street 21. It was 3.5 months into its 6 month trial with Go-Ahead Singapore when it made its debut on Service 119.
On Monday, 24 April 2017, SG4001J made its debut on Go-Ahead Bus Service 15, plying from Pasir Ris Int and looping at Marine Parade. It was more than 5 months into its supposed 6 month trial with Go-Ahead Singapore when it made its debut on Service 15. The trial on Service 15 was expected to only last 2 weeks till 5 May 2017, with the end of the 6-month Electric Bus trial period with Go-Ahead Singapore.
Although the 6-month trial period has ended, the bus was still deployed on Service 15. This may have indicated that the trial period was extended.
End of Trial
On Wednesday, 31 May 2017, Go-Ahead Singapore announced that the trial for the BYD K9 Electric Bus (SG4001J) was on its last day.
- The bus bears a Mobitec Electronic Display Signage (EDS) of a orange LED matrix design, mounted on the front, kerbside and rear of the bus
- One of the EDS scrolls is misspelt: “Bedik North Ave 4” instead of Bedok North Ave 4
- The scheduled revenue trip mileage for the bus is 125km, around half the advertised distance of the BYD K9, likely to factor for the tropical climate of Singapore
- The Common Fleet Management System Driver Display Unit is not logged on to exclude the bus from being part of the BSRF results for Service 17, as specified in the trial conditions.
- The bus originally could not be tracked on bus arrival apps. It appears as a non-wheelchair-accessible bus when it was redeployed to Service 119.
Gallery: (Pre-Revenue Service)
Promotional Facebook Posts:
Facebook post by Go-Ahead Singapore published on 30 October 2016.
Facebook post by Go-Ahead Singapore published on 3 November 2016.
Facebook post by Go-Ahead Singapore published on 7 November 2016.