Transforming public transport with superior battery performance for a greener future

In the ever-evolving landscape of public transportation, the transition to electric bus fleets is not just a trend but a necessity. VDI Australia, in strategic partnership with Yutong, is spearheading this transformation by developing comprehensive solutions, with a strong focus on superior battery performance, tailored to the unique needs of Australian operators.


A Holistic Approach to Electrification

The journey towards an electrified fleet extends far beyond simply replacing diesel buses with electric counterparts. VDI Australia understands that this transition involves a meticulous evaluation of a range of factors, including operational routes, charging infrastructure, and battery performance. Through collaborative partnerships with operators and governments across Australia, VDI has gained invaluable insights into the specific challenges and opportunities faced by the Australian bus industry. As James Gauci, COO at VDI Australia, explains, “Given VDI’s long heritage within the industry, we realized early on that transitioning to electrification represents one of the most significant changes this sector has experienced in the last century. BEB fleets have profound implications across most aspects of an operation.”

Understanding that every route presents unique energy demands, VDI Australia offers operators a complimentary route analysis service. This detailed assessment helps operators understand the specific energy consumption patterns and battery performance of their routes, enabling them to make data-driven decisions about charging infrastructure, fleet size, and operational strategies. By removing much of the guesswork, our route analysis service provides greater predictability and detailed insights, which are both simple and quick to perform yet extremely valuable for operators.

Innovation Rooted in Research and Development

At the heart of VDI Australia’s success lies its commitment to meaningful, localised innovation, underpinned by Yutong’s multi-million-dollar research and development investments. This dedication is evident in the design and engineering of the E12 model, a BEB that has garnered acclaim for its exceptional reliability and battery performance under Australian conditions. The E12’s robust monocoque construction, coupled with anti-corrosive electrophoresis treatment across the body, frame and chassis, ensures longevity and durability, even in harsh environments. This design, along with roof-mounted batteries that enhance battery performance and reliability, underscores our commitment to delivering products that are both innovative and fit for purpose in the Australian operating environment.

A row of white Battery Electric Buses (BEB) from Yutong lined up in an outdoor lot under a clear blue sky.
A fleet of Yutong Battery Electric Buses (BEB) awaits its livery before delivery, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient Australian transportation solution.
Efficiency and Sustainability: The Battery Performance Advantage

Vehicle battery design and performance also represent a critically important factor when considering a BEB fleet, especially as they contribute significantly to overall depot capability. Battery efficiency is typically measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 km’s, and this has a direct bearing upon vehicle range. It’s therefore important that operators carefully investigate the kWh efficiencies of their BEB’s. Key to this however involves understanding the average speed experienced across routes. For instance, data derived from Australian operator’s experience with E12’s indicates that at an average route speed of 13kph achieves approximately 1.1 kWh, whilst an average route speed of 26kph achieves approximately 0.8kWh. Route topography is another variable that will influence battery efficiency, especially when you consider factors such a regeneration. From a depot capability perspective, key factors such as fleet charging frequency, duration and energy costs all correlate directly with the battery quality of their buses.

The CATL batteries integrated into Yutong buses have consistently exceeded expectations in terms of degradation performance, thanks to their advanced lithium iron phosphate composition. This translates to longer battery lifespans and reduced replacement costs for operators. The CATL batteries utilize a State of Health (SOH) metric to measure degradation performance. Based on real-world data from E12s operating in Australia, these batteries are exceeding the theoretical degradation model provided by Yutong. This performance indicates that battery degradation is not anticipated to fall below 80% SOH within their 8-year warranty period, providing long-term value and reliability for operators.

Safety as a Paramount Concern

VDI Australia prioritises the safety of passengers and drivers alike. The E12 model, adhering to world-leading safety standards, is equipped with state-of-the-art fire suppression systems tailored to Australian requirements. This commitment to safety extends beyond regulatory compliance, ensuring peace of mind for all stakeholders. Incorporating Yutong’s YESS system, the E12 model enhances safety with advanced fire prevention capabilities, reinforcing the areas surrounding the batteries to prevent damage in the event of a collision. This robust protection, coupled with Yutong’s continuous innovation in thermal protection, ensures that even in the face of high-impact scenarios, the integrity of the battery packs is maintained, exemplifying VDI Australia’s dedication to delivering not just compliant, but truly safe transportation solutions.

Empowering Operators with Cutting-Edge Technology

Yutong’s YEA (Yutong Electric Architecture) technologies exemplify the company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of innovation. The E12’s intelligent central computing unit, along with its integrated domain controllers (C-architecture and YOS), creates a unified system that optimises vehicle performance, enhances passenger comfort, and streamlines operations. This comprehensive approach addresses common pain points in BEB operation, such as range anxiety and power management, resulting in a more efficient and reliable fleet.

Yutong’s multi-million-dollar R&D investment and commitment to dedicated, fit for purpose, OEM approved components has directly contributed to the E12’s performance and reliability.

Supporting the Transition Every Step of the Way

VDI Australia’s commitment to its customers goes beyond providing high-quality vehicles. The company offers a comprehensive suite of services, including route analysis, charging infrastructure planning, and maintenance support. With a network of service workshops across Australia and direct access to Yutong’s technical expertise, operators can rest assured that they will receive prompt and efficient assistance whenever needed. In consideration of Australian operator requirements, the E12 is available in various battery and charging configurations, including pantograph options. It is also an approved TfNSW Panel 4 vehicle in both CBU and local assembly formats.

A Vision for a Greener Future

As Australia continues its journey towards a more sustainable transportation system, VDI Australia and Yutong stand ready to support operators in embracing the benefits of electric bus fleets. Our involvement in the ongoing TfNSW ZEB ROM trials across remote New South Wales locations has been providing better than expected results, demonstrating the potential of our BEB technology in diverse and challenging environments. While the trials are still underway and specific results cannot yet be disclosed, the preliminary data is promising, highlighting the reliability and efficiency of our solutions.

Through continuous innovation, unwavering commitment to safety, and comprehensive customer support, VDI Australia is paving the way for a greener and more efficient future for public transportation in the country.



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