When Yutong’s new C12E model was first unveiled at last year’s Bus & Coach Expo in Sydney, it turned heads. The diverse vehicle attracted a gathering to its release at the Yutong stand.
Upon commencing at VDI Australia, new national sales and marketing manager Sara Clark immediately realised why the all-new C12E has been so eagerly anticipated by the Australian market.
“Since being first unveiled at last year’s Sydney Expo, the C12E has been trialled with 15 operators across Australia,” Clark told ABC.
“The feedback has been extremely positive across the board and our Australian team has been able to closely study the data regarding its performance, including the C12E’s industry leading safety features.”
The latest in a long line of Yutong new age models has been praised by trial customers for its superior driver and passenger comfort, as well as its energy consumption efficiency.
With a typical reported range of between 350 and 430 kilometres, VDI is now confirming the C12E will continue on the mass production phase begun earlier this year to ensure keen operators get the chance to buy the new model soon.
“Most companies are currently looking to future proof their fleets and to support them, we’ve focused hard upon supply availability,” Clark says.
“They’re looking at the C12E as a sustainable solution when it comes to moving to zero-emissions buses across a variety of industry segments.”
The mass production of the model is producing a 57 fixed seat vehicle as standard, with 53 and 51 reclining seat options available to order from the
global Yutong factory.
Clark says the C12E is designed to be an ideal solution for a variety of applications, with the model primarily suited to mining, schools and charter sectors.
“The standard offering of 57 fixed seats is appealing to school bus operators,” Clark says.
“However, our 53 and 51 reclining options available have been introduced predominantly for the mining and charter markets.”
A key part that fuelled the C12E’s unveiling last year was its safety technology onboard. The new Yutong electric bus, that’s ready to order now, is fitted with the latest updates from the global electric bus manufacturer.
Included as standard on all Yutong electric bus models, the Yutong Electric Safety Standard (YESS) provides battery safety and fire mitigation to keep zero-emissions vehicles safe.
Clark says the YESS system offers a unique point of difference for Yutong. Although the feature may not be visible from the outside of the bus, the five-point protection system lurks in the background, ensuring the vehicle, on-board systems, battery pack, parts and monitoring all remain safe.
“The vehicle protection, through YESS, comprehensively meets the standard for collision protection as well as reducing the risk of fire caused by short circuits,” Clark says.
“It starts with the system protection, which is implemented through Yutong’s first battery nitrogen protection system.”
The technology uses aviation grade, high purity nitrogen separation technology that replaces oxygen within the battery with nitrogen to ensure that the cell blocks contact with combustibles and oxygen.
This is designed to suppress the first expansions within a battery cell from thermal runaway, cooperating with the battery monitoring system within YESS to detect nitrogen concentration and tightness of the battery pack, acting as an early warning indicator for operators.
Moving onto the battery pack protection, YESS ensures all battery packs are equipped with short circuit protection devices. In the event of an abnormal external overload, failed circuits can be disconnected fast. The sandwich-like isolation protection system structure developed by Yutong can withstand long-term burning at up to 1300°C for as long as two hours.
“The parts protection side is represented by specially developed multi-pack, high efficiency battery liquid heating technology that is integrated with liquid cooling,” Clark says.
“This thermal management system reduces the risk of high voltage failure.
“The monitoring protection offers 24/7 battery monitoring. You can’t see all of this from the outside, but the C12E has plenty of safety features packed into it.”
This comprehensive YESS system is onboard all of Yutong’s electric bus products, including the E12 and the new D7E model. These two vehicles, alongside the C12E, also have Yutong Electric Architecture (YEA), Yutong’s first electric vehicle specific platform integrating software and hardware.
“YEA means full integration between body and chassis, providing a total solution for buses,” Clark says.
“It means customers can have peace of mind that they’re fully supported, providing yet another real point of difference for Yutong electric buses.”
Other features onboard the C12E that are now available to local customers include standard safety systems and an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System that provides noises for quiet electric buses travelling at lower speeds.
A 360-degree camera driver warning system is a critical addition for school bus operations, giving drivers a superior aerial view of the vehicle’s total surrounds. In a profession where ensuring all students getting on and off the bus safely is paramount, Clark says this system is a major bonus.
“The C12E has been developed to meet the strictest of requirements for the bus sector while giving regional customers a real electric solution,” Clark says.
“It’s a milestone for customers in regional Australia and for VDI as the Yutong distributor.”
It’s new models like the C12E that makes Clark excited to be part of the VDI family and to continue learning about the technology behind the progressive company’s model range and future plans.
She says she’s particularly keen to see the commencement of VDI’s Brisbane production facility, where Yutong’s E12 electric low floor city bus is being assembled under its local content program.
“I have enjoyed my journey so far, we have a great team at VDI and an exciting model range on offer,” Clark says.
“The product range really excites me. I feel like I could talk about the C12E all day, every day, and it’s just one of the many exciting models on offer.
“I think the C12E is a real game changer for the regional Australian school bus market in particular. There’s a real sense of enthusiasm here and it’s an exciting opportunity moving forward.”
For further information regarding VDI’s C12E, including ordering, head to www.vdiaustralia.com.au.