California transit authority goes 100% electric with order for 85 BYD electric buses

BYD_eBUS_white (AVTA-Business Wire)

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), which serves some 450,000 residents in the northern Los Angeles metro region, says it has taken a step toward becoming the first 100% electric public transit fleet in the country, ordering up to 85 BYD electric buses over a five-year period.

BYD will deliver a variety of e-bus models, including a 40-foot low-floor transit bus, a 60-foot low-floor articulated bus and a 45-foot commuter coach, each with a range of more than 160 miles. BYD will build the e-buses at its facility in Lancaster, California.

AVTA is also installing a wireless charging system from Utah-based WAVE, which will extend the fleet’s range to be able to serve the agency’s longest rural routes.

AVTA expects to save more than $46 million over the life of the buses compared to legacy diesel vehicles – approximately $46,000 per bus per year.

“I’m pleased to chair a transit agency as forward-thinking as AVTA that has the political will to do something no other transit agency in the country has done yet – go all-electric,” said Marvin Christ, Chairman of the AVTA Board of Directors. “There are multiple benefits to electrifying our bus fleet, from creating jobs and eliminating harmful air pollutants, to reducing dependence on foreign oil.”

AVTA Bus Award Release 2-11-16-3


SEE ALSO: University of Montana orders Proterra electric buses


Source: Antelope Valley Transit Authority

  • brian_gilbert

    The bus has A 46 year life but the switch to driverless may well occur far sooner. It would be as well if the bus design anticipated the need to modify them

    • Madeleine Alexei

      The economic life of a transit bus is typically 12-15 years, with some jurisdictions running buses for 18-20 years. Electric componentry can last much longer, up to 50 years, but bodywork would need to be rebuilt at least once in that time.

      • Stephen Rees

        That “economic life” refers to the age at which US federal funds kick in to replace it. Elsewhere absent such generosity the same buses last much longer.

        • Madeleine Alexei

          Factors that feed into the decision of when to replace a vehicle include componentry wear, maintenance costs, safety, efficiency, emissions regulations, and the need to market the service. Unless serious faults are found with a particular vehicle type, the expectation is that it will be depreciated over 12-15 years, sometimes 18-20 years. In most cases, it takes several years to earn enough income to justify the vehicle’s capital cost, but total cost of ownership starts to increase as a vehicle reaches its end-of-life.

          You said that “absent such generosity the same buses last much longer.” They may still be on the road and even running relatively well, but they will not comply with more recent emissions regulations, and may be less efficient. This is one way that EVs will always outperform vehicles with internal combustion engines.

      • brian_gilbert

        My mistake I picked up the 46 from other figures in the report.

  • Michael B

    Yay! Let’s hope they start a trend.