While we have a pretty impressive electric bus
here in America, an announcement that a Chinese joint venture will begin building buses with a 300 km (186 miles) range certainly got our attention. The FAW Bus and Coach Company has teamed up with battery maker Tongkun New Energy Technologies Co., Ltd and plan to have their people-carriers on the roads around two different cities in Jilin province
by June. They already have 70 on the order book and if they can deliver the range performance promised, we expect they'll sell more.
The 24 passenger bus can not only go far on its lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4
) batteries but it can also re-charge them in as little as 20 minutes. With a useful life of 2,000 cycles, they could last 300,000 miles. Not bad for a bus with a 500,000 yuan ($73,145) price tag and low running costs. Hopefully the new design will also be a little easier on the eyes than the current baby bus built by FAW, pictured above.