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Yutong unveils new C12e electric model

Yutong’s recent bus models have been heavily focused on new safety technology. Its latest C12e electric vehicle continues the trend.

When Yutong released its D7 minibus earlier this year, safety was a key theme. Now, Yutong has taken it to a new level as the largest electric bus manufacturer in the world is set to welcome its new C12e electric bus model to Australia.

Yutong’s Australian national distributor, Vehicles Dealer International (VDI) Australia, will receive the new model once it arrives here. VDI Australia general manager Lou Riccardi says the latest electric bus model from the global Yutong workshop will have a similar suite of safety technology to the D7 minibus.

“The equipment in the C12e is the same as what’s in the D7,” Riccardi told ABC.

“This includes a 360-degree camera, Mobileye, driver fatigue management, standard seatbelts, and technology like an anti-lock braking system, electronic braking system, and a whole lot more.

“All safety features come into play on the C12e. This model is all about safety, which also incorporates Yutong’s world first YESS electric vehicle safety and fire mitigation system.”

Riccardi says the new electric bus model also prioritises flexibility for international operators. Yutong developed the C12e with its eye on a worldwide release, resulting in a modular bus design that allows it to be tailored to each market’s needs as either a 9m or 12m vehicle for Australia.

Riccardi says VDI Australia is expecting to have both a 9m and 12m model in  Euro 6 diesel versions coming to the Australian market soon.

The first C12e model is on its way to Australia. The 12.4m, 53-seat charter/mine bus can also be configured as a 57-seat school bus.

“The C12e is going to suit a range of operators such as in the school, charter or mining areas,” Riccardi says.

“Our current D12 12m bus currently covers these three segments and this model is no different.”

The C12e model concept first started just under two years ago when Yutong began the design process. After following through to an input phase, the international manufacturer moved quickly to build the bus and plan its global release.

Riccardi says the electric bus underwent a comprehensive testing phase at Yutong’s rigorous research and design centre before being sent to Australian shores.

Once Riccardi and the Australian team are satisfied with the imported bus, VDI Australia will then move to introduce a low engine emissions version of the new model. 

“As well as firstly bringing the electric bus to Australia, we’ll also be importing a Euro 6 version of the model to Australia,” Riccardi says.

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“Yutong is the largest electric bus manufacturer in the world, so it makes sense for us to bring these new products to the market and supply them to customers.”

The new C12e is essentially an electric replacement of Yutong’s current D12 model. Riccardi says the C12e is another entrant into Australia’s limited electric bus market to give operators more options while transitioning to a zero-emissions industry.

“We felt that our current D12 model was a bit tired,” Riccardi says.

“The model is now about eight to 10 years old, so it needed a change and we had a number of improvements we wanted to make based upon feedback from customers, such as larger luggage bins and an improved driver’s area.

“It was a gradual change that it underwent, and it coincided with us moving towards electric buses simultaneously, so the C12e represents this zero-emissions update for our line of buses.”

Yutong is proud of its latest electric bus development. The imported model will come at an ideal time during September. Once the C12e reaches Yutong’s Australian premises, it will be transported to the Sydney Showgrounds in October to display at Yutong/ VDI Australia’s stall at the upcoming Australasian Bus & Coach Expo.

It makes for a tight timeline for Yutong, but Riccardi is confident it’ll result in the C12e model being launched successfully in Australia.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the C12e electric model at the Expo,” Riccardi says.

“We haven’t had an Expo in Australia for several years now, so I’m expecting a large turnout.


“It’s an excellent chance for attendees to see and touch the C12e and ask questions so they can see the build quality and all the safety features we have fitted.”

Following the Expo, Yutong will actively look to put the C12e model on trial with operators throughout Australia.

Once that’s underway, Riccardi plans to bring another four C12e vehicles and run them in different states to engage customer feedback. Yutong wants to get quality feedback on how the new model operates from that expansive range of customers so it can meet their requirements in future builds.

There’s no timeline for the following four C12es to be imported to Australia. Instead, Riccardi will patiently gauge the reaction of the new electric bus at the Expo and see the opportunities for sales shortly.

“We haven’t got any trials established yet,” Riccardi says.

“We’ll bring the vehicles into Australia first and familiarise ourselves before engaging with operators and other customers.

“I’m confident that we’ll get excellent feedback and a great reaction in the coming months.”

Regardless of what happens at the Expo and in the later months of 2022, Riccardi is proud of the new electric bus model. He says Yutong’s goal is to help the Australian market achieve its goals in the electric vehicle space moving forward.

The VDI Australia general manager says the C12e is the latest Yutong model that adheres to government requirements of transitioning to a zero-emissions industry by specific dates. Introducing it to the Australian market will give VDI an ideal chance to expand its reach in the country. 

“It’s been a hectic 12 months,” Riccardi says.

“It’s all hands-on deck at the moment and moving forward in the next few months, but it will be definitely worthwhile.

“We’re most excited about introducing the C12e to the marketplace. It’s going to be a gamechanger in the Australian industry.”

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