2/15/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

China’s BYD to Supply Electric Buses to California

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BYD Motors Inc. has won a contract to supply as many as 85 electric buses to the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Southern California over the next five years.

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BYD Motors Inc. has won a contract to supply as many as 85 electric buses to the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Southern California over the next five years.

The Chinese company, which has a factory in Lancaster, Calif., supplied two electric buses to AVTA under a separate contract in 2014 and has won awards with several other California transit authorities. BYD has more than 6,000 electric buses on the road worldwide. It also claims to be the leading producer of all-electric passenger vehicles.

With the new order, AVTA aims to convert its entire bus fleet to EVs. The new BYD models will include three variants: a 40-ft low-floor transit bus, a 60-ft low-floor articulated bus and a 45-ft commuter coach. Each has an estimated driving range of more than 160 miles per charge.

AVTA also plans to install a wireless charging system in some remote areas to make it faster and easier to replenish the buses' batteries on long rural routes. The transit agency estimates it will save $46,000 in fuel costs annually per bus and as much as $46 million over the life of the EV fleet compared with an all-diesel fleet.

In addition to reducing fuel costs and eliminating tailpipe emissions, AVTA says, the electric buses cut noise pollution in half and are safer for repair technicians to work on.

The agency expects to take delivery of the first 29 electric buses within the next year. AVTA serves a 1,200-sq-mile area and a population of more than 450,000 people near Los Angeles.