The Antelope Valley came out a winner after BYD Motors Inc. was awarded a contract by the Washington State Department of Transportation to supply electric buses to transit authorities and agencies as well universities and other educational institutions.
The buses, which would range in size from 30-feet long to 60-feet long, would be made at the BYD Coach & Bus factory in Lancaster. BYD Motors is the Los Angeles-based U.S subsidiary of Chinese electric vehicle and battery manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd.
BYD opened its Lancaster plant in spring 2013 and began delivering buses the following year, starting with the Antelope Valley Transit Authority. The company is contracted to produce up to 25 buses for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro.
BYD responded to a request for proposals from Washington’s Transportation Department and was selected to provide buses in 10 out of 12 categories for a total of 800 electric vehicles. The company did not disclose the dollar value of the contract.
“Electric buses are no longer a science fair project,” said Macy Neshati, vice president of sales for BYD Coach & Bus, in a prepared statement. “With BYD now producing a long-range bus in nearly every category, we have proven the technology is here to stay.”
Transportation department staff spent the last few years researching and evaluating every electric bus on the market to give transit agencies the best buses in every category to build their fleet with, said David Chenaur, the department’s capital programs manager.
“Washington State has long been a leader in the clean‐energy movement, and (the department) is proud to be doing our part in furthering this mission on the transportation side of the equation,” Chenaur said in a statement.