Is BYD bringing buses to America before cars? [w/video]

BYD eBUS-12 – Click above to watch video after the jump

BYD has big plans to bring its vehicles to America, and while we will likely have to wait until 2012 to see the F3DM hybrid or all-electric e6 in showrooms, the company's 12-meter (39.37 feet) electric bus should arrive later this year. Yes, we said bus and later this year.

Apparently, BYD bought the Hunan Midea bus company not long ago and has since developed the electric eBUS-12, which includes some interesting tech and performance specs. Launched last September, it is already in operation in three Chinese cities and the company has orders from Hunan province for 1,000 units.

American plans for the BYD behemoth have it making a grand entrance at an upcoming Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meetings in Omaha. The company is reviewing a dozen potential cities and says it expects to have buses testing on the road before the end of the year.

The bus itself is said to be good for 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) optimally – 250 km (155.3 miles) with more typical urban usage – and has a 60 mile per hour top speed. Propulsion is provided by in-wheel motors and solar panels populate the roof. A full charge of the 324-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery takes a little more than three hours with 100-kW charging equipment, though with the optional monster 600-kW proprietary rapid-chargers, it can be done in 30 minutes. Hit the jump to check out some BYD eBUS-12 action for yourself (starts at 1:30 mark).

[Source: BYD / China Business News]

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