The Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s (AVTA) and BYD operators have put AVTA’s new BYD electric bus through a 24-hour marathon ride that looped from Rosamond to Palmdale (California) a total of 18 times. The BYD bus traveled 746 miles (1,201 km) over the 24-hour period, operating in three shifts. Each shift logged between 240 and 256 miles (386 and 412 km) before recharging the battery.
AVTA’s electric bus was loaded with 5,250 lbs. (2,381 kg) of sand bags to simulate the weight of 35 passengers. The bus traveled a total of 240 miles before its first battery charge—nearly 100 miles (161 km) more than BYD advertises and 30 miles (48 km) more than is needed to service an average transit route in the Antelope Valley. The air conditioning system ran during most of the test except during the early morning hours when it was cold outside.
This is tremendous news and it proves the BYD electric bus can be a transit work horse like its diesel counterpart. We are looking forward to putting our electric buses into service on local transit routes to further evaluate their true performance under all weather and road conditions.—AVTA Board Chair Norm Hickling
This was the second range test for AVTA’s electric bus. Its first unofficial test was 29 July when it traveled to Los Angeles to pick up the consul general of the Chinese Consulate who was scheduled to tour the BYD manufacturing facility in Lancaster. AVTA offered to pick up the Chinese delegation using its new BYD bus in order to test the zero emission vehicle’s performance on the 14 freeway. After circulating downtown, the electric bus easily climbed the 14 Freeway grade which has an elevation change of nearly 4,000 feet. The 92-mile (148-km) trip ended in Lancaster, CA with 64% of the bus’ battery life still remaining.
AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and it is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West.