Chinese automotive company BYD took part in a historic purchase this week, delivering dozens of its electric buses to the United States. The Chinese company was one of the major suppliers for the largest order of electric buses in US history.
The order was made by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation last week. The agency announced that it had placed a substantial order of 155 electric buses from China. Out of the 155 electric vehicles, 134 will be supplied by BYD Auto.
Since the order was made, BYD has delivered four buses so far to the city of Los Angeles. The rest of the buses are expected to the delivered over the next few years, with the next batch scheduled to arrive in March.
As part of its massive undertaking, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation revealed that it has set up a three-acre maintenance yard within the city. The facility will feature solar panel canopies that will provide additional power, EV charging stations, and bays that can hold up to 70 buses at a time.
The department will be working closely with BYD's US unit to provide any maintenance and upkeep assistance. BYD North America president, Stella Li pointed out that the project is no longer just a demo nor is it just a small order. The project will become a real test for the company's EV products and its services in the real world, one that will hopefully lead to additional orders from other global agencies.
BYD originally launched pilot operations for its fully-electric buses in Los Angeles more than four years ago. The company worked with a number of agencies, including the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the Los Angeles International Airport, and the University of California. The company's US operations are currently headquartered in the city, which is why it chose it to become the starting point of the planned rollout of its fully-electric commercial products.
Los Angeles city mayor, Eric Garcetti, mentioned in an interview that he was pleased that BYD had used an "all-American" workforce for the project. The official added that he was very happy to be working with the company and hopefully both parties can achieve their respective goals to impact the community and the environment in a positive way.
The record-breaking purchase is part of the city's LA's Green New Deal: Leading By Example initiative. Part of the initiative will be to have a fleet of emission-free public transport available in time for the opening ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will be hosted in the city.