L.A. Metro to Purchase Its First Electric Buses for Los Angeles County Transit Riders

  L.A. Metro to Purchase Its First Electric Buses for Los Angeles County
  Transit Riders

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES -- June 27, 2013

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of
Directors today approved a contract with BYD Motors for the manufacture and
delivery of up to 25 new all-electric buses as part of a $30 million clean air
bus technology pilot project.

This is the first time in Metro’s history that all-electric, zero-emission
transit buses will be purchased and placed into revenue service as the agency
evaluates electric bus technologies and their applicability to meet L.A.’s
rigorous transit needs.

Metro’s Advanced Transit Vehicle Consortium (ATVC), a partnership with L.A.
City, L.A. County and South Coast Air Quality Management District, will
initially purchase five low-floor, 40-foot all-electric buses. After an
initial period of testing and evaluation, Metro may then choose to purchase up
to 20 additional buses. Metro will also initiate a new solicitation to convert
six existing Metro gasoline electric hybrid buses to Super Low Emission Bus
standards.

The BYD contract contains a local jobs component that stipulates that the firm
implement a local jobs program. BYD will comply by performing final assembly
of bus components at its new manufacturing facilities in L.A. County. A
Lancaster, California plant, which opened in May, is the international firm’s
first manufacturing facility in the United States.

“Metro already operates the nation's largest compressed natural gas bus fleet,
but this initiative sets Metro on a new course for transitioning to even
cleaner electric buses that will be assembled right here in Los Angeles County
at the BYD manufacturing plant in Lancaster,” said Michael D. Antonovich, L.A.
County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair.

In 2011 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa co-authored a motion with Metro
board members and County Supervisors Don Knabe and Antonovich to jump-start
Metro’s Super Low/Zero Emission Bus Program to meet future vehicle emission
reduction targets set by the California Air Resources Board.

The program seeks to test rapidly evolving electric vehicle technologies that
have enhanced operating characteristics including extended range, better
integrated subsystems and lighter weight construction. Metro will evaluate
whether the new all-electric buses can reduce operating and maintenance costs
and lower life cycle costs compared with Metro’s current fleet.

BYD’s electric buses use the company’s own iron phosphate rechargeable
batteries which can reportedly travel 155 miles between charges with a full
passenger load. The firm has manufacturered more than 1,000 electric buses in
China and was rated highest in the proposal process for technical compliance,
project management and past performance.

“In 2010, when BYD made Los Angeles its North American corporate headquarters
it signaled L.A.’s emergence as a center for tomorrow’s clean vehicle
technologies,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Through partnerships like this
contract, BYD is helping Los Angeles continue to lead the way in developing
clean, green transportation solutions, and keeping L.A. at the forefront of
the cleantech revolution.”

Metro anticipates receiving the new buses early next year. Following an
initial evaluation and testing period, Metro plans to initiate new
procurements for additional “next generation” zero-emission and super low
emission buses based on technology developments anticipated within the next
one to three years.

“BYD very much admires the forward-thinking vision of Metro and is thrilled
about partnering with this great transit agency to deliver truly
zero-direct-emissions buses while building up local California jobs to support
these buses from our L.A. Headquarters or our bus assembly plant in Lancaster,
California,” said Stella Li, BYD Motors President.

The program is part of a larger effort to test clean air prototype buses prior
to the next Metro replacement bus proceurement in 2016. Funding for the buses
has been made available using Measure R funds dedicated for transit
operations. Currently, Metro has a fleet of 2,238 clean air compressed natural
gas buses operating on 183 bus routes throughout Los Angeles County.

For additional information on Metro transit services, please visit
www.metro.net.

Contact:

Metro Media Relations
Dave Sotero/Marc Littman
213-922-3007/213-922-2700
mediarelations@metro.net
metro.net/press/pressroom
 
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