BYD steams into mono­rail in­dus­try

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By CHAIHUA in Shenzhen grace@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chi­nese elec­tric ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer BYD is en­ter­ing the rail­way trans­porta­tion mar­ket, with the an­nounce­ment of plans to build a mono­rail ser­vice in Shenzhen.

The “Skyrail” will take around two years to build, one-third of the time taken to build the av­er­age metro sys­tem, and will cost around 20 per­cent of the lat­ter, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

With an in­vest­ment of 5 bil­lion yuan ($757 mil­lion) in five years, BYD aims to solve the traf­fic jam prob­lem in crowded cities caused by pop­u­la­tion in­crease.

At the cer­e­mony, BYDChair­man Wang Chuanfu said the city of Shan­tou in Guang­dong prov­ince had signed con­tract with BYD to build a 250-kilo­me­ter-long Skyrail sys­tem and another 20 cities are in ne­go­ti­a­tions to in­tro­duce the new trans­porta­tion sys­tem.

“Skyrail could in­te­grate with cur­rent public trans­porta­tion sys­tem in a bid to es­tab­lish a multi-di­men­sional net­work link­ing space un­der­ground, on the ground and in the air,” Wang said.

It can run as fast as 80 km per hour and its de­liv­ery ca­pac­ity is about 10,000 to 30,000 pas­sen­gers one way each hour.

After the 4.4-km Skyrail started op­er­a­tions in BYD’s Shenzhen cam­pus, rail­way trans­porta­tion of­fi­cially be­comes the com­pany’s fourth core busi­ness after IT, au­to­mo­bile and newen­ergy.

Wang said BYD is de­ter­mined to be the first pri­vate com­pany in­China to en­ter rail­way trans­porta­tion in­dus­try.

On Oct 11, Wang also signed a con­tract worth 60 bil­lion yuan with­Chi­naDevel­op­ment Bank about a strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion on the mono­rail sys­tem in­dus­try.

Peng Qi, au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try an­a­lyst of re­search cen­ter atChi­naMer­chants Se­cu­ri­ties, pointed out the de­vel­op­ment of the Skyrail de­pends on how many or­ders it could suc­cess­fully get and that needs to be ne­go­ti­ated with lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

He said he be­lieves the new sys­tem is suit­able for third and fourth-tier cities, as well as link­ing sub­urbs and down­town in first-tier cities, but he is afraid smaller cities could not af­ford the cost.

The ad­van­tage of BYD’s Skyrail is its low cost, he added.

He com­pares the Skyrail to an aerial elec­tronic bus, say­ing BYD has a com­pre­hen­sive re­sources of man­u­fac­tur­ing elec­tronic bus, in­clud­ing elec­tronic mo­tors, bat­tery and elec­tronic con­trol, so the com­pany only needs to out­source track man­u­fac­tur­ing.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

BYD’s Skyrail starts op­er­a­tion on Thurs­day in Shenzhen, Guang­dong prov­ince.

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