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AVTA on Track to Be 100% Electric by 2018

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), Lancaster, CA, has awarded BYD Motors a contract for up to 85 electric-powered buses over five years, moving the agency closer to becoming a 100 percent electric public transit fleet.

AVTA made the announcement at a recent event attended by elected officials, dignitaries and community leaders. The agency expects to take delivery of 29 electric buses within the next 12 months and is working to secure additional funding from the California Air Resources Board to purchase another 17 buses.

“This is a historic day for AVTA, which has been working diligently to secure grant funding to purchase these state-of-the-art zero-emission vehicles,” said Executive Director Len Engel. “We are proud to be the first transit system to adopt a goal of ‘100 Percent Green in 2018’ and we look forward to leading the nation toward a new alternative in public transportation.”

AVTA Board Chairman Marvin Christ said, “There are multiple benefits to electrifying our bus fleet, from creating jobs and eliminating harmful air pollutants to reducing dependence on foreign oil. These benefits will be seen at the local, regional, state and national levels. It’s really a win-win.”

Under the order from AVTA, BYD Motors will build—at its Lancaster plant—and deliver a variety of all-electric models, including a 40-foot low floor bus, a 60-foot low floor articulated bus and a 45-foot commuter coach, all of which will have a range of more than 160 miles on a single charge. AVTA is also installing a wireless charging system to extend the fleet’s range to ensure the electric buses can serve the agency’s longest rural routes.

“BYD Coach and Bus is proud to partner with AVTA on its groundbreaking decision to completely electrify its fleet,” said Stella Li, president of BYD Motors. “With more than 6,000 electric buses deployed worldwide and 90 million miles of dependable service already accumulated, we know that our technology will help AVTA save money and improve local air quality.”

AVTA anticipates saving more than $46 million over the lifetime of the electric bus fleet compared to an all-diesel bus fleet, reducing noise and air pollution and providing a safer work environment for technicians.

AVTA staff and board members including Executive Director Len Engel, third from right, joined BYD officials and representatives of state and federal elected officials to commemorate a contract for 85 BYD electric buses that will give the Lancaster, CA, agency the first fully electric bus fleet in the U.S.

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