Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD has announced that the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico City Council approved the purchase of five K8M 35-foot battery-electric buses for its RoadRUNNER Transit fleet.
Under a five-year contract to be awarded to BYD, the city will buy five K8Ms and has an option to purchase seven additional buses. The five buses, which will be made in the United States, are expected to arrive in New Mexico’s second largest city in fall 2022 and could be in service before Christmas next year. They will replace older carbon-fuel buses.
“As part of its sustainability initiatives, the Las Cruces City Council is committed to making the city a model of sustainable practices which includes converting City fleet vehicles to electric vehicles,” said Mike Bartholomew, the city’s Transit Administrator. “We are very excited about the opportunity to start the process of moving to a fully electric fleet in the city’s RoadRUNNER Transit service.”
The American-made K8M, a state-of-the-art transit bus, can seat up to 33 passengers. Highly reliable and safe, the K8M battery electric bus comes equipped with up to 435kWh LFP battery and can be fully charged within 3 hours.
The K8M set a high scoring record in the Federal Transit Administration Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pa., earning high marks in structural durability, reliability, maintainability, and safety.
“BYD buses, known around the country for their style, safety and innovation, are a perfect fit for Las Cruces,” said Patrick Duan, BYD North America Senior Vice President. “We see a great and expanding market for our brand in New Mexico and know that residents and riders will appreciate this clean, quiet and efficient addition to the city’s fleet.”
The Las Cruces announcement comes on the heels of New Mexico officials picking BYD to participate in a statewide purchase agreement that gives transit agencies throughout the Land of Enchantment and the United States the ability to buy American-made BYD coaches and buses.
The vehicles, which comply with strict Buy America standards, are manufactured in ISO 9001-certified American factory, guaranteeing quality, safety, and efficiency in every aspect of design, production, and customer care.
Buses included in the agreement are the 30-foot K7M, the 35-foot K8M, the 40-foot K9M, and the 60-foot K11M. Motor coaches included in the agreement are the 23-foot C6M, 40-foot C9M, and 45-foot C10M.
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.
© 2021 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.