Electric Buses Continue Expansion In Los Angeles & Seoul

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Officials continue to adopt electric buses to serve transit needs in cities all over the world. In the latest news, Los Angeles and Seoul are the latest to jump aboard. Los Angeles is buying 40, while Seoul is buying 143.

The first of 40 New Flyer buses delivered to Los Angeles Metro. Photo courtesy of LA Metro.

@metrolosangeles is going electric!” said Los Angeles councilman Mike Bonin on Twitter. “The first of 40 new zero-emission buses has arrived, and will be deployed in a few months on the Orange Line. This is the first stage of the agency delivering on the commitment we made in 2017 to going 100% electric by 2030.”

According to LA Metro’s press release, the buses are 60-foot long articulated models from New Flyer. Details on the range and other specifications are not readily available. The city purchased the buses for US$1.15 million under a contract totaling US$80 million for all 40 buses, charging infrastructure, and other deployment expenses.

In a separate purchase, Metro ordered an additional 65 zero emission electric buses from the manufacturer BYD. Five of those buses are 60-foot articulated buses earmarked for the Orange Line, and the remainder are to be used on the Silver Line that operates between the El Monte Bus Station and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in Gardena.

Sustainable-Bus reports that Seoul, Korea just added 143 electric buses to its fleet. These buses will join 29 that are already in operation as part of a plan to replace natural gas buses with battery EV models. Ultimately, the plan is to put a total of 3,000 battery-electric buses in operation.

While this may seem like a much bigger investment than that of Los Angeles, it’s only part of the story. While South Korea does plan thousands of battery-electric buses in operation, it also plans to field 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell buses as part of a larger push to expand hydrogen infrastructure. This effectively splits investment to different approaches while many other jurisdictions are planning to focus strictly on battery-electric.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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