USA Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) is set to become the first in the US to operate an entirely electric fleet. During a special meeting, the AVTA board of directors voted to award BYD a contract to manufacture up to 85 electric buses over a five year period. The announcement was made during a special event that followed the meeting at the AVTA facility and was attended by elected officials, dignitaries and community leaders. Los Angeles-based BYD Motors, a subsidiary of a Chinese global leader in developing electric transportation, will build the buses at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California.
AVTA is anticipating a cost savings as a result of electrifying its fleet. Over the lifetime of the new electric bus fleet, the transit agency forecasts it could save more than $46 million compared to an all-diesel bus fleet, equivalent to $46,000 per bus per year. And, by reducing dependence on foreign oil imports, AVTA will no longer be subject to oil price volatility for its bus fleet. This will help create greater stability for budget forecasting for the fleet manager – an important factor for a public agency.
The agency expects to take delivery of 29 electric buses within the next 12 months and is working to secure additional grant funding from the Air Resources Board to purchase another 17 buses.