The City of Los Angeles is serious about its commitment to combating climate change. It is adding hundreds of electric cars to its municipal fleet and making plans that will allow low income residents to dump their older cars with high emissions for cleaner cars. It is promoting many miles of bike paths. And the Los Angeles county public transportation system, known as the Metro, has just inked a deal with BYD to buy 60 electric buses for its fleet.
BYD has its American headquarters in Los Angeles and operates a factory in nearby Lancaster, California. The new contract will add 59 workers to the 600 strong BYD payroll. Most of the new hires will be residents of Los Angeles county, according to the terms of the deal. In all, the Metro will pay $138 million for the 60 BYD buses plus 35 60 foot long electric buses from New Flyer of America Inc, which is located in Crookston, Minnesota.
L.A. Metro is expected to use the buses to electrify the Silver Line bus service, which runs throughout the county from El Monte into Downtown Los Angeles and then south to San Pedro. BYD opened its U.S. headquarters in downtown L.A. in 2011 and set up a manufacturing facility in Lancaster in 2013. In the L.A. region, BYD has provided 10 buses to Long Beach Transit and four each to Palm Springs and Anaheim.
BYD is a Chinese company. The initials stand for Build Your Dream. It sold more vehicles with plugs in 2016 than any other manufacturer in the world. In addition to buses, it also manufactures electric passenger cars and light, medium, and heavy duty trucks. Earlier this year it brought its first electric garbage truck to the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach. It also builds an articulated 60 foot long electric bus with 275 miles of range. The first of those was delivered to Antelope Valley Transportation, which serves northern Los Angeles county, last spring.
Electric buses may not be as sexy as the Tesla Model 3, but they can have a bigger impact on carbon emissions in congested urban environments like Los Angeles than a whole fleet of electric cars.
Source: Electric Cars Report