The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has approved a contract with China-based BYD Motors to purchase up to 25 all-electric buses as part of a $30 million pilot project.
Metro currently has a fleet of 2,238 natural gas buses operating on 183 routes. The new BYDs will be the agency’s first electric buses. Under the agreement, Metro will initially purchase five low-floor, 40-foot electric buses, which it expects to receive early next year. After a period of testing and evaluation, it may then choose to purchase up to 20 additional buses.
BYD’s electric buses use the company’s own iron phosphate batteries, which can reportedly travel 155 miles between charges with a full passenger load.
The BYD contract stipulates that the firm create local jobs by performing final assembly of bus components at its new manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California, which opened in May.
“Metro already operates the nation’s largest compressed natural gas bus fleet, but this initiative sets Metro on a new course for transitioning to even cleaner electric buses that will be assembled right here in Los Angeles County at the BYD manufacturing plant in Lancaster,” said Metro Board Chair Michael Antonovich.
“In 2010, when BYD made Los Angeles its North American corporate headquarters it signaled L.A.’s emergence as a center for tomorrow’s clean vehicle technologies,” said LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Through partnerships like this contract, BYD is helping Los Angeles continue to lead the way in developing clean, green transportation solutions, and keeping LA at the forefront of the cleantech revolution.”
Source: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority