China-based BYD, which has manufacturing facilities in California, now claims to be the largest battery-electric bus manufacturer in North America. Its buses are in service with municipal transit systems and airports around the US.
The latest transit fleet to go electric is the Catalina Island Company, which has announced plans to deploy three BYD C6 motor coaches to shuttle tourists around the historic island. Picturesque Catalina Island strictly limits private auto use, and has long been famous for environmentally sensitive transportation programs.
The 23-foot BYD C6 Motor Coach has a range of 125 miles, and is able to climb substantial grades, a necessity for the island’s hilly terrain.
“More than a million people visit Catalina each year, and swapping out diesel buses with battery-electric vehicles will dramatically lessen their footprint,” said BYD Senior VP Macy Neshati.
“Catalina Island Company has a long and rich history of seeking to protect the island’s natural resources,” said Andrew Welham, VP of Tours and Activities for the Catalina Island Company. “The new electric buses reflect an exciting next step in our ongoing sustainability efforts. They will enable us to share the beauty of the island with visitors and, at the same time, preserve its resources.”