BYD’s K8M 35-Foot Electric Bus Sets New High Score on FTA Bus Reliability Test

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Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD (Build Your Dreams) has announced that its American-built and all-new K8M, a 35-foot zero-emission public transit bus, set a high scoring record in the Federal Transit Administration Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pa.

The K8M record-setting performance included high marks in structural durability, reliability, maintainability, and safety. As a result, U.S. transit agencies can confidently use FTA funding to buy the K8M.

“We set a new benchmark and record for the entire American electric bus industry,” said Patrick Duan, BYD North America Senior Vice President. “The Altoona test results prove the K8M will give our customers the best reliability and lowest maintenance costs they deserve and demand. I’m very proud of our team, and I’m extremely happy that our customers will benefit when they deploy the top bus in its class.”

The innovative K8M, a state-of-the-art transit bus, is 35-foot in length and can seat up to 33 passengers. The highly reliable and safe K8M electric bus is equipped with up to 435kWh LFP battery and can be fully charged within 3 hours.

The popular BYD 35-foot electric bus is already in revenue service with several agencies across America, including LINK Transit in Wenatchee, Washington; Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority in Georgia, Baton Rouge’s Capital Area Transit System; the Vineyard Transit Authority of Massachusetts resort community of Martha’s Vineyard; the Regional Transit Authority of Central Maryland; and California’s Fresno County Rural Transit Agency.

BYD now offers four low-floor transit buses with Altoona certification with the K8M joining the 30-foot K7M, the 40-foot K9M, and the 60-foot articulated K11M. All of BYD’s zero-emission buses not only meet, but also exceed FTA Buy America requirements, incorporating more than 70% U.S. content.

BYD is the first battery-electric bus manufacturer that has both a unionized workforce and a Community Benefits Agreement, which sets goals for hiring veterans, single parents, second-chance citizens, and others facing hurdles in obtaining manufacturing employment. In addition, in partnership with SMART Local 105 and Antelope Valley College, BYD set up an apprenticeship program, improving production quality and efficiency and giving employees valuable skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.

BYD offers the widest range of battery-electric bus and coach models in the United States, ranging from 23-foot motor coaches on up to the 60-foot K11M and 45-foot double-decker C10MS.

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.

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