LOS ANGELES, (Xinhua) -- The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has officially taken delivery of their first five zero-emissions electric buses BYD's 40-foot all-electric buses were built entirely in California, BYD said Friday in a statement.
These five 40-foot buses are built by BYD Motors Inc. in Lancaster, California, and will be direct integrated into their daily operations, as the buses are capable of driving more than 155 miles on a single charge.
Los Angeles Metro will test the first five electric buses on various routes around the city to evaluate their optimal route profiles. Testing should be accomplished within six months.
There are still 20 more electric buses left on Metro's contract with BYD Motors, and if all goes well, the city hopes to see more electric buses on the streets soon.
"BYD is creating jobs and providing an anchor for new businesses to locate in Los Angeles County and to provide jobs for our people", Michael Antonovich, Los Angeles County Supervisor, said in an unveiling ceremony on Thursday.
LA Metro, known in the transit community as the Nation's first clean-air fleet with their conversion to Compressed Natural Gas ( CNG) transit buses, is now also the first major transit property in the U.S. to begin electrifying their fleet with truly zero- emissions buses.
"I am so proud to see the electrified transportation movement alive and well here in Los Angeles", said BYD's Founder and Chairman Chuanfu Wang, "We know from widely available data, that buses and taxis emit nearly 30 percent of the world's harmful emissions, yet only account for 1.7 percent of total vehicle ownership! The fastest way for us to influence the most change, and help as many people as possible, is to replace our fossil fuel burning transit buses."
Several days ago, local Southern California Electric Vehicle manufacturer BYD Motors Inc. just won an order for 60 zero- emissions, pure electric transit buses from a U.S. mass-transit operator, which is the biggest order for a pure electric bus in the United States.
BYD Motors Inc. is an American manufacturing company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BYD Company Ltd, the largest domestic auto-manufacturer and electric-bus manufacturer in China.
The company formally established its North and South America headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles in 2011 and opened a bus factory in California a year ago to push into the U.S., Canadian and Latin American markets. About 50 of its buses are now in operation in the U.S., according to BYD.
Since its establishment, BYD Motors has hired more than 130 local employees to staff the Downtown office as well as two manufacturing facilities located in the City of Lancaster, also within LA County. The company plans to double its current workforce in the coming year yet again with the workload that would be created by the LBT order as well as others that are expected to come after.
BYD announced last week it plans to sell 15,000 electric taxis and 6,000 electric buses this year. But Li said 95 percent of the orders would be from the domestic market.