California’s Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency (AVSTA) has announced plans to buy 20 BYD electric school buses. The buses will be built in Lancaster, California at the BYD Coach & Bus facility by members of the SMART Union.
The BYD Type D Battery Electric School Bus has a top speed of 65 miles per hour and a range of up to 155 miles. It can be charged in as little as 3 hours and seats up to 84 passengers. China-based automaker BYD has sold more than 70,000 electric buses worldwide.
BYD school buses are eligible for federal and state purchase incentives offered by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board.
“It’s great to see our community take advantage of funding that’s out there for electric school buses,” BYD Senior VP Patrick Duan said. “This agreement puts the community on the road to being the nation’s first region with fully electric transit and school buses.”
“We here in the Antelope Valley are concerned about not only the health of our environment, but the health and wellbeing of our students,” said AVSTA CEO Morris Fuselier. “This is the beginning of our effort to build the largest electric school bus fleet in the state.”
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris noted that AVSTA is on a path to become the first school transportation provider in California to operate a complete fleet of zero-emission school buses. “Just a few short years ago we were told this was not possible,” said he. “But we found a way to work together to make this a reality. We want to create a template for the world to follow: When that bus takes off after dropping them off, they won’t be breathing that exhaust, which is nothing but poison.”