BYD revealed its first pair of electric buses manufactured in California this week. “It’s a small beginning. A few buses. But like many things, it holds promise as something very big and very important,” said Governor Jerry Brown during a ceremony at the company’s manufacturing plant in Lancaster. “I hope to come back in a few years, when hundreds or maybe thousands of buses are rolling off the line.”
The new 40-foot buses are destined for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, which plans to test the vehicles for the next several weeks before putting them into service as early as August 1. Buses must run a grueling gauntlet of safety and reliability tests before passengers are allowed to board. BYD has released a new video that shows some of the fun.
BYD also has a deal to provide up to 25 electric buses to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It had a contract with Long Beach Transit for 10 buses until that deal was canceled in March due to paperwork problems with the Federal Transit Administration. Long Beach officials plan to rebid the contract, and BYD will compete a second time for the business.
BYD, which is traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has established its North American headquarters in Los Angeles. Its Lancaster bus assembly plant is the first Chinese-owned factory to produce vehicles within the US, said BYD Vice President Michael Austin, who introduced himself as the company’s first American employee.
Source: Long Beach Press Telegram
Image: AVTV/Business Wire