Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. continues to make advances in the U.S. bus market, picking up its first pure-electric bus orders for the public transit system serving the southern California cities of Vallejo and Benicia.
The Solano County Transit (SolTrans) in Vallejo, California, has ordered two forty-foot zero emission electric buses from BYD’s U.S. division, BYD Coach & Bus. The buses will go into service in the summer of 2016.
BYD notes its K9 40-foot bus is the most popular electric bus platform in the world, with more than 6,000 now running in revenue service in cities from Los Angeles, to London and Hong Kong.
Public transit systems are increasingly turning to pure-electric buses as they work to meet stricter carbon emission goals. The prior generation of hybrid buses are now aging out of service, and BYD’s pure-electric buses are ready replacements.
“This is a historic moment for Solano County,” said Mona Babauta, Executive Director of SolTrans. “This decision, supported by the SolTrans board of directors, is an excellent example of the forward-thinking attitude towards technology and transportation that contributes to making Solano County a great place to live. ”Our decision to go electric includes taking positive steps towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our dependence on petroleum, and cleaner air,” continued Babauta. In addition “these buses are whisper-quiet, and will drastically reduce noise pollution along their daily routes.”
BYD’s Battery Electric bus employs many advanced technologies developed in-house by a staff of more than 15,000 R&D engineers, and includes the BYD Iron-Phosphate battery which boasts the only 12-year-battery warranty in the industry. Combined with BYD’s proprietary in-wheel hub motors and regenerative braking system, the BYD battery electric bus offers the lowest life cycle cost of ownership. The BYD electric bus delivers a host of operational and environmental benefits for public transit riders, bus operators and residents of the community — it is very quiet and ensures a comfortable ride without vibrations, jerks or the noise associated with the conventional buses and combustion engines. The bus can also drive for more than 155 miles, even in heavy city traffic, on a single charge.
As of April 1st, 2015, BYD bus fleets had completed greater than 100 million miles in revenue service, and have been evaluated by more than 150 cities in 36 countries around the world.
To date, BYD has built over 7,000 electric buses globally, making it by far the most popular electric transit vehicle on the planet.
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares, and today owns roughly 9.1% of the company.
For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.
© 2016 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.