While there has been a lot of talk about Tesla venturing into the market of heavy-duty electric vehicles, it’s something its Chinese competitor BYD has been doing for years now. Earlier this year, they delivered a fleet of all-electric trucks to work in yards in California.
Now they deliver their first 60-ft all-electric bus in the US – an impressive machine equipped with an even more impressive battery pack with a capacity of 547 kWh.
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The bus is the first of 13 that BYD will deliver to Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Los Angeles County, California, as part of AVTA’s “award-winning campaign” to fully electrify its fleet by 2018.
Macy Neshati, Senior Vice President of BYD Heavy Industries, said about the announcement:
“The Antelope Valley Transit Authority is leading the North American transit market with its electrification commitment, and so it’s only fitting that they should have the first bus of its kind in North America. This bus runs longer and holds more passengers than any other commercially available battery-electric bus, and I know it will serve the people of the Antelope Valley well.”
The bus can seat up to 60 people and BYD claims a range of 275 miles on a single charge with full charging completed in two to three hours.
It should be more than enough to support the routes covered by AVTA. Len Engel, Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, added:
“We’ve been proud to be at the forefront of the smart business of electrification, protecting our air, saving money, and creating local jobs here in the Antelope Valley. Having the first 60-foot articulated electric transit bus on the continent is a feather in the cap of the people of Lancaster, Palmdale, and the other communities we serve.”
While BYD is a Chinese company, it has a heavy vehicle division in California, where it manufactures electric buses and trucks at its Lancaster Factory. It even produces electric garbage trucks at the location.