California, the land of Tesla and home of half of all registered electric vehicles in the USA, has set another benchmark, with the Los Angeles department of transport (LADOT) committing to the largest order of electric buses to date nationally.
Chinese EV maker BYD (which stands for Build Your Dreams) made the announcement at the California Transit Association’s Annual Fall Conference on Wednesday (US time), saying that LADOT will receive 130 electric K7M buses as part of its mission to electrify 100% of its LA Metro and LADOT bus fleet by 2030.
The 130 BYD battery electric buses, which have a driving range of up to around 270km and can be recharged in 2.5-3 hours, will reduce the City of Los Angeles’ CO2 emissions by 8,225 metric tons per year and almost 100,000 metric tons over the 12 year life of the buses.
With a 22-seat capacity, the 30 foot BYD K7M has a 197kWh battery and will reduce the emissions of LADOT’s current compressed natural gas bus fleet by 81%.
They will be built at BYD’s Lancaster, California facility using over 70% US materials, meaning that they will exceed requirements set by the Federal Transit Administration “Buy America” program.
The purchase reflects the city’s commitment to addressing climate change, a strategy for which has been embodied in Los Angeles’ “Green New Deal” which casts a broad range of goals encapsulating energy, housing, water, mobility, waste, food systems, jobs and industry as well as transport.
“We applaud LADOT for its bold leadership, ambition, and desire to improve the air quality for the City of Los Angeles,” said BYD president for North America Stella Li in a statement on the company’s website.
“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,” she said.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.