Southern California’s Long Beach Transit is adding a few more electric buses to its fleet with news of a new deal for 14 fully electric buses from Shenzhen, China-based BYD. The new buses will be manufactured at BYD’s Lancaster, California factory where it produces a range of electric buses and trucks.
“We have a great deal of admiration for Long Beach Transit’s decision to bring innovative BYD zero-emission bus technology to their community,” said BYD North America President Stella Li. “California is the largest economy on planet Earth that has committed itself to 100% clean energy, and Long Beach Transit is helping to lead the way.”
The 14 new BYD K9M buses are 40-foot long fully electric buses that fit right into Long Beach Transit’s diverse fleet of gasoline-hybrid, compressed natural gas (CNG), and electric buses. LBT purchased its first electric buses from BYD in 2015, which Zach Shahan, Nicolas Zart, and I were able to see in person at the Long Beach Formula E event in 2016. Time sure does fly while you’re having fun.
BYD’s K9M can haul around 37 seated passengers for just over 150 miles (241 kilometers). When it’s time to recharge, its onboard iron phosphate batteries can be rapidly refilled in around 4.5 to 5 hours. While BYD is a Chinese company, these buses are built in California with the majority of the components in the vehicle coming from the US. In fact, more than 70% of the contents of the vehicle come from the US, qualifying the vehicles for the Federal Transit Administration’s “Buy America” program.
Long Beach was an early adopter of BYD’s electric buses, with 10 of BYD’s rigs already roaming around city streets. The 14 new buses more than double the existing electric fleet and demonstrate that Long Beach Transit is confident in the technology and BYD’s products. In the world of transit buses, they have to work or people will notice.
Los Angeles just went all in on electric buses with a massive new order for 130 BYD K7M buses. That is simply staggering and speaks to the quality of the buses and the eagerness of some progressive transit authorities to convert their fleets to lower cost, zero tailpipe emission electric buses.
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