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China's BYD Wins Big U.S. Contract to Supply Electric Buses to the State of Georgia

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【Summary】Chinese electric automaker BYD has won the bids to supply vehicles to the U.S. state of Georgia and Atlanta city, the company said in a statement released on Monday.

Derrick Smith    Aug 15, 2018 6:37 PM PT
China's BYD Wins Big U.S. Contract to Supply Electric Buses to the State of Georgia

LOS ANGELES — Chinese electric automaker BYD has won the bids to supply vehicles to the U.S. state of Georgia and Atlanta city, the company said in a statement released on Monday.

BYD, which stands for "Bring your dreams", will supply Georgia's statewide contracts for public mass transit and transportation vehicles, specifically for battery-electric buses. BYD will become a source for all of the state's government entities, including state offices, colleges and universities, as well as local government, cities, townships and counties throughout the state.

BYD said it's the world's largest electric vehicle manufacturer, as well as the largest electric bus maker in North America.

"BYD is excited to be working with customers in Georgia and we look forward to growing our presence in the state and improving the air quality for Georgians," said Bobby Hill, vice president of North America for BYD Coach and Bus.

In addition, the company also won the bid to become one of the suppliers for the city of Atlanta's electric vehicles, which includes electric heavy-duty trucks, taxi fleet vehicles, and buses.

"BYD's medium and heavy duty all-electric vehicles will help Atlanta achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 20 percent from 2009 levels by 2020 and by 40 percent by 2030," the statement said.

BYD has delivered its battery-powered electric-buses to more than 40 U.S. customers, including Facebook's campus, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles and Long Beach Transit.

The company announced last month its joint venture with San Francisco-based Generate Capital, Inc., a leading financier, owner, and operator of distributed infrastructure, to launch the first electric bus-leasing program of its kind in the United States.

BYD expanded into electric car manufacturing around 2006 and launched the world's first plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2008. The company led global EV market in sales for three years in a row, from 2015 to 2017.

The success of the company caught the attention of American billionaire, Warren Buffett. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway owns about 8.2 percent stake of BYD. Samsung and Daimler are also investors in the company. In 2016,Samsung invested $450 million into BYD.

The demand for electric buses in the U.S. has increased significantly over the last decade. Hybrid buses accounted for around 40 percent bus purchases in the U.S. during last few years. More than 47,000 electric buses are operating U.S. roads and it has a target to reach 1 million by 2025 as fleet operators make the switch to fully-electric buses and shuttles.

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