Los Angeles buys 95 electric buses, plans emissions-free fleet by 2030

NEW FLYER XE40_large

In the first step towards a new goal of eliminating tailpipe emissions by 2030, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to spend $138 million to buy 95 electric buses from New Flyer and BYD.

The new e-buses will make up less than 5% of Metro’s fleet, but the purchase will at least double the number of electric buses in use in California, according to the agency.

Metro’s board voted unanimously to deploy the battery-powered buses, but some in the organization still have reservations about their range. In a recent report, Metro employees said that electric buses as they exist today pose “significant risks to service and operation.”

BYD electric bus

Metro’s first electric buses will be deployed on lines where their range won’t be a problem: on the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley and in the 29-mile Silver Line carpool lane along the Harbor and San Bernardino freeways. Both routes will have charging stations.

The Orange Line will have 35 electric buses from New Flyer, and should be fully electric by 2020. The Silver Line will feature 60 buses from BYD, which are to be operational by 2021.

“As the federal government moves backward, here in Los Angeles, we are moving forward,” said Los Angeles City Councilman and Metro Director Mike Bonin. “They are moving us into a dark past. We are moving into a bright future.”


Source: LA Times, BYD

  • Vincent Wolf

    With 250 miles ranges I doubt seriously they will have range anxiety for the bus drivers. They can also stop once in a while on a route and charge wirelessly.

  • aengus Murray

    Deployment of electric vehicles on a busway seems to be a lot less expensive and scalable option for electrifying mass transportation compared to building subways. The Orange line can become emission free without significant infrastructure investment.

    • http://www.twitter.com/menorman Marven Norman

      The purpose of a subway isn’t to implement electric mass transit, it’s to provide the capacity.

  • danwat1234

    Why in the world does it cost more than $1 million per bus!!?? Maybe a couple hundred K, but over 1 million!?

    • bytrain

      “Typically, electric buses cost about $300k more than diesel buses, and annual savings are estimated at $39k per year over the 12-year lifetime of the bus, excluding health care cost benefits. Switching to electric buses eliminates the air pollution caused by diesel bus fuel combustion. The resulting health benefit to the populous of the city from the reduction of respiratory and other diseases is estimated at $150k per bus based on EPA data. When applied to the financial case, the $150k improvement makes the case more compelling, and the health benefits should be a key
      consideration in the decision to switch to the new technology.” http://www.columbia.edu/~ja3041/Electric%20Bus%20Analysis%20for%20NYC%20Transit%20by%20J%20Aber%20Columbia%20University%20-%20May%202016.pdf

    • Ramon A. Cardona

      Go back to 1900 and first cars. Expensive as to the materials and craftsmanship. However, add roads, bridges and other improvements, and the cost jumps. These busses, apart from the expensive batteries and other unique parts and systems, require extensive electric work and the heavy duty chargers times the numbers needed perhaps in several locations.