New York, New York – Alcoa has developed a new, all-aluminum space frame and bus design for BYD that will reduce the weight of the new BYD Electric Bus body by nearly 40 per cent.

BYD launched its first two electric bus prototypes in Changsha City in China.

Alcoa has also provided lightweight forged wheels and fasteners, bringing the overall bus weight down by a total of 1.2 tons. The combined weight savings are expected to help improve the overall range by at least 10 per cent, giving a range of approximately 300 kilometres on a full charge.

BYD plans to produce thousands of the electric buses for the China and Southeast Asia markets, as well as for global export. Alcoa will be the exclusive supplier of the new design, along with sheet product from its Bohai rolling mill in China, and the forged wheels and aluminum fasteners.

“It is certainly impressive that we were able to drop more than 1.2 tons from the weight of BYD’s new electric bus compared to steel,” said Jinya Chen, president of Alcoa’s Asia-Pacific region. “However, this design is about more than  just weight. The new design is durable, corrosion-resistant, infinitely recyclable and expected to increase the range by at least 10 per cent and withstand the rigours of everyday city driving.”

Connect with Autos.ca