Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, has delivered North America’s first 60-foot articulated battery-electric transit bus to the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Los Angeles County, California.
The bus, part of AVTA’s plan to fully electrify its fleet by 2018, was also built with local labor in BYD’s factory in Lancaster, just miles from the AVTA office. It is the first delivery from AVTA’s order of thirteen 60’ BYD buses.
“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,” said Macy Neshati, Senior Vice President of BYD Heavy Industries. “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.”
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.”
The 60-foot BYD bus seats up to 60 people and provides a range of 200 miles on a single charge with full charging completed in two to three hours. It will join the rest of the AVTA fleet in serving the half million residents of northern Los Angeles County.
Nearly 600 Californians are employed at the BYD factory in Lancaster. Workers there recently completed a card-check vote, an important step towards unionization.
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.
For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.
© 2017 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.