ebus in Copenhagen - courtesy BYD

BYD sets a New European eBus Record; Resolves Issues in California

By Roy L Hales

BYD’s ebuses have set a European record, travelling 325km (202 miles) on a single charge at the end of which they still had 8% of battery charge remaining.

This exceeds the 310 km record, with 31% of charge remaining, that BYD set last year on a trip between Warsaw and Krackow.

The world record, however, would still appear to be in Malaysia, where Prasarana Transit reported that the buses were getting more than 400 kilometers to a charge!

Two ebuses have been operating in Copenhagen since January, where they have proven they can operate well in the Scandinavian winter.

More than 25 European cities have tried out the ebus.

In Ankara, Turkey, BYD’s electric bus reputedly proved it can provide a 80-90% reduction in operating and maintenance costs over natural gas fueled buses.

Meanwhile, the California Labor Commissioner dropped charges that BYD had paid workers less than the state’s minimum wages and reduced the company’s fine from  $99,245 to $37,803.

The company’s lawyer, Lanny J Davis, has issued a statement saying:

It is my understanding that BYD welcomes the decision by the California Labor Commissioner to dismiss as unmerited citations alleging that BYD paid below California’s minimum wage to five professionals from China who temporarily worked for BYD in the latter half of 2013.

BYD produced substantial documents to the Commissioner’s office proving that BYD paid these professionals the equivalent of above the state minimum wage of $8.00 hour. BYD documents prove that these professionals were in fact paid $12-$16 / hour. Therefore, the Commissioner’s office has today agreed to dismiss the minimum wage assessment based on the alleged under-minimum-wage payments. All five of these professionals were no longer working for BYD in California by the end of 2013.

However, the Labor Commissioner’s position is that BYD should have paid these five employees in U.S. dollars, not in their home currency – Chinese renminbi (RMBs). While BYD disagrees with this position as a matter of law, in the spirit of resolving this matter, BYD has agreed to pay $1,900 for this alleged error. This means that the hearing on the minimum wage issue on calendar for tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28, will no longer be necessary. BYD appreciates the cooperation and communication that led to this resolution.

However the hearing will continue regarding two other alleged technical violations that BYD denies — the alleged omission of two out of nine categories of information on check stubs of all employees; and the alleged denial of rest breaks for 8 employees who were permitted to choose to take one twenty-minute rest break, rather than requiring a split of this break into two ten-minute breaks against the employees’ preference.

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