LANCASTER – During a special meeting on Thursday, Feb. 11, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s board of directors voted to award BYD a contract to manufacture up to 85 electric buses over a five year period.
BYD Motors will build the buses for AVTA at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster, AVTA officials said in a news release.
“I’m pleased to chair a transit agency as forward thinking as AVTA that also has the political will to do something no other transit agency in the country has done yet – go all electric,” stated Marvin Crist, chairman of the AVTA board of directors. “There are multiple benefits to electrifying our bus fleet, from creating jobs and eliminating harmful air pollutants, to reducing dependence on foreign oil. These benefits will be seen at the local, regional, state, and national levels. It’s really a win-win.”
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.
“BYD Coach and Bus is proud to partner with AVTA on its groundbreaking decision to completely electrify its fleet,” stated Stella Li, president of BYD Motors. “With more than 6,000 electric buses deployed worldwide and 90 million miles of dependable service already accumulated, we know that our technology will help AVTA save money and improve local air quality.”
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, AVTA officials said in the news release.