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Antelope Valley Transit orders up to 85 electric buses from BYD; first US all-electric public transit fleet

The board of directors of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in California voted to award BYD a contract to manufacture up to 85 electric buses over a five-year period. Under the order from AVTA, BYD Motors will build and deliver a variety of all-electric bus models including a 40-foot low floor transit bus, a 60-foot low floor articulated bus, and a 45-foot commuter coach.

All 85 buses will have a range of more than 160 miles on a single battery charge. AVTA is also installing a wireless charging system to extend the fleet’s range to ensure the electric buses will be able to serve the agency’s longest rural routes.

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AVTA is anticipating a cost savings as a result of electrifying its fleet. Over the lifetime of the new electric bus fleet, the transit agency forecasts it could save more than $46 million compared to an all-diesel bus fleet, equivalent to $46,000 per bus per year in savings. And, by reducing dependence on foreign oil imports, AVTA will no longer be subject to oil price volatility for its bus fleet—helping to create greater stability for budget forecasting for the fleet manager.

The agency expects to take delivery of 29 electric buses within the next 12 months and is working to secure additional grant funding from the Air Resources Board to purchase another 17 buses.

Additional benefits AVTA will see as a result of electrifying its entire fleet include:

  • Noise Pollution Reduction: noise pollution will be reduced by 50%, making it a more pleasant ride for bus operators and transit passengers.

  • Emissions Reductions: AVTA’s all-electric fleet will provide elimination of CO2, NOx, PM10 and PM2.5 thereby improving air quality and positively impacting human health.

  • Safer Work Environment for Technicians: The electric batteries are safe, thermal runaway proof, non-toxic, and maintenance free. There are no diesel or diesel emission fluids needed for bus maintenance, providing a safer and healthier working environment for vehicle technicians.

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.

Comments

Dave R

I think this is the first substantial order of electric buses in the USA. Hopefully more come quickly!

HarveyD

A hand to AVTA, to be the leader for this large order of e-buses. BYD is a good choice. Proterra and Volvo could also do it but at a higher price together with a longer delivery schedule?

gryf

AVTA will be all electric by 2020. Electric buses are already cost effective compared to CNG or Diesel buses. In addition, AVTA generates much of it's electricity with Solar photovoltaic-equipped parking structures.

SJC

Lancaster/Palmdale are up on a flat plateau, should work fine.

HarveyD

Flyer Co., also sells e-buses equipped with 200+ kWh battery pack. There are currently 9+ other (3+ in China) bus manufacturers offering electric units.

E-buses (all sizes) are ideal to reduce GHG and pollution in city cores. All/many Chinese large cities are buying large numbers. Initial purchase price differential versus equivalent diesel units will come down with near future improved lower cost batteries. Total life time cost is already lower in many places.

Juan Carlos Zuleta Calderón

Wireless charging is the future. Though see here why Tesla is not going wireless: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3294695-battery-recharging-why-is-tesla-not-going-wireless

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