The University of California, Irvine has chosen electric bus manufacturer BYD to convert the Anteater Express bus fleet, which serves the college’s 1,500-acre campus and various off-campus locations, into an all-electric service.
UCI undergraduates voted in 2013 to transform the Anteater Express shuttle, which is operated and funded by students, to a more sustainable fleet, and volunteered to pay up to $40 per quarter to cover the costs. The college has set a goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and vehicles by 2025.
UCI will purchase 20 BYD K9M buses to replace its existing 29 diesel buses. The K9M e-buses have a range of approximately 161 miles and a capacity of up to 41 passengers, depending on the configuration. They are projected to cost roughly $1 less per mile to operate than legacy diesel-powered buses.
BYD’s proprietary iron-phosphate battery is manufactured in Lancaster, California. According to BYD, it is nontoxic, fire-safe and 100% recyclable.
“We are excited to be the first college in the nation to have a fully-electric zero-tailpipe- emissions bus fleet,” said Lydia Natoolo, Associated Students of UCI President. “With this project, we hope to position UCI as a model for other colleges to follow in achieving sustainability.”