BYD Motors, Inc. has agreed to mutually terminate its contract with Long Beach Transportation Company (LBT) for the delivery of 10 electric buses. BYD said that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) withdrew funding of the contract as a result of an error in BYD’s pre-bid disadvantaged business program certification in February 2013.
LBT announced that BYD won the competition for the contract on 24 March 2013. Based on the contract award, BYD then submitted a percentage goal for purchases from disadvantaged businesses in June 2013. The FTA concluded, however, that BYD should not have certified to compliance prior to submitting a goal, even though submitting a goal in the absence of a contract award would have been meaningless.
Regardless, both the FTA and the LBT attorneys agree that BYD is now eligible to participate in any future contract funded by the FTA as a result of its June 2013 program goal submission.
It is surprising that the FTA waited nine months to withdraw funding from this contract—after BYD spent millions of dollars—due to what can only fairly be described as a technical error that in no way casts doubt on our deep commitment to purchase from disadvantaged businesses.
In an effort to demonstrate our good will to both the people of Long Beach and the FTA, we have agreed to mutually terminate the Long Beach Transit contract so it can be re-bid without delay. We are confident that we will prevail in any competitive re-bid in the future for the same reason we prevailed last year: Our superior technology.—Stella Li, CEO of BYD Motors, Inc.
The FTA-funded stress testing in its Altoona, Pennsylvania, facility, of the BYD electric bus—the same model to be delivered to Long Beach Transit—has resumed and should finish soon.
BYD presently has sold and deployed more than 1,000 operating electric buses in China and throughout Europe and Latin America. It has received an order for up to 25 buses from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is in the process of converting the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) fleet to all-electric buses as it has done in other places around the world. BYD will deliver the first two buses to the AVTA in April 2014.