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China's BYD Receives Order for 130 Electric Buses, its Biggest Order to Date in the U.S.

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【Summary】BYD Company Ltd., which is based in Shenzhen, China, announced that the city of Los Angeles has placed the largest the largest single order of battery-electric buses to date in the United States. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) ordered 130 of BYD’s battery-electric K7M buses.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 13, 2019 3:30 PM PT
China's BYD Receives Order for 130 Electric Buses, its Biggest Order to Date in the U.S.
The BYD KM7 electric bus.

As the auto industry begins a shift towards electrification, the deployment of battery-powered buses for city mass transit systems continues to rise, as cities like Los Angeles are looking to make their mass transit offerings zero emissions, quieter, and more efficient.

BYD Company Ltd., which is based in Shenzhen, China, announced that the city of Los Angeles has placed the largest the largest single order of battery-electric buses to date in the United States. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) ordered 130 of BYD's battery-electric K7M buses. 

The 30-foot long BYD K7M bus has 22 seats and a range of up to 150 miles, according to BYD. Each bus is powered by a 215 kWh battery that can be charged in 2.5 to 3 hours. The buses have a top speed of 56 mph.

The purchase fits with the City of Los Angeles' "Green New Deal," a set of sustainability goals that include converting the entire LADOT fleet to zero-emission buses by 2030.

"We applauded LADOT for its bold leadership, ambition, and desire to improve the air quality for the City of Los Angeles," said BYD North America President Stella Li. "BYD buses will be an important component of the city's efforts to meet its sustainability goals. We are proud to partner with an agency that shares our green dream."

The K7M is one of BYD's top selling products and the buses are in service in cities around the globe. It has zero emissions and its electric powertrain is extremely silent, to help improve the quality of life in cities where it operates. 

For large fleet operators, deploying electric buses make financial sense. the K7M buses have lower fuel and maintenance costs, as well as a lower total cost of ownership than diesel-powered buses or those that run on compressed natural gas. BYD also offers a 12-year warranty on its batteries, the longest warranty in the industry.

It is estimated the 130 buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,225 metric tons per year and by 98,700 metric tons over the buses' 12-year life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 81% compared to LADOT's compressed natural gas buses.

The Buses Will Be Made in the U.S.

Although BYD is a Chinese company, the buses will be built at the company's 450,000 square-foot Coach & Bus factory in Lancaster, California. BYD says its zero-emission buses exceed the Federal Transit Administration's "Buy America" requirements for 70% of the bus components and subcomponents to be produced in the U.S.

LADOT has been working with BYD since 2014, when it conducted a 90-day trial of a battery-electric bus. In Jan 2017, city officials introduced the first of four K9S

battery-electric buses acquired by the LADOT with a grant from the California Energy Commission. LADOT is one of a dozen customers that have made make additional orders for the electric buses. 

Earlier this year, Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) added 40 more buses to its initial order from BYD. ART's transportation service includes 22 interchangeable routes in Anaheim and Orange County, taking riders to popular shopping destinations, dining, culture, sports, entertainment venues and theme parks. 

With the LADOT purchase of 130 electric buses, BYD has now sold more than 460 electric buses to customers in Southern California. The buses serve airports, universities, private operators and transit agencies.

BYD stands for "Build Your Dreams" and is the world's leading electric vehicle company. Founded in 1995 battery technology company, BYD's portfolio has grown to include battery-electric automobiles, buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and forklifts. Today, BYD is one of the leading manufacturers of electric buses. The company is backed by investor Warren Buffett.

Last week, BYD and Japan's Toyota Motor Corporation announced an agreement to establish a joint company to research and development of electric vehicles. The company is also building China's expansive electric SkyRail monorail system.

BYD has 220,000 employees across the globe, including around 1,000 in North America. 

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