There was a time when cities were very pleased with adding hybrid buses to reduce emissions from smoky diesel buses. These days, the mantra is zero-emissions, as cities work to meet tougher pollution and climate change goals. These goals benefit BYD Co. Ltd, the Chinese company that is a world-leader in rechargeable batteries, and maker of pure-electric and traditional fuel vehicles.
The company, which is partially-owned by Berkshire Hathaway, continues to make inroads in the U.S. market with its all-electric buses.
In Denver, Colorado, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) has approved the purchase of 36 of BYD’s 45-foot pure-electric buses for its 16th Street Mall shuttle, which is the RTD’s busiest bus route.
The buses replace a more than decade-old fleet of hybrid buses, which are aging out of service. The new buses will eliminate emissions on the heavily travelled route.
The RTS is spending $27.1 million to purchase the buses, which will have a 12-year lifespan.
BYD has been begun assembling its buses for the U.S. market in a plant it opened in Long Beach, California. The company is already making pure-electric buses for Long Beach’s transportation system.
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential and purchased 225 million shares, and today owns roughly 10% of the company.
For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.
© 2015 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.