BYD continues to make inroads into the North American market with a new deal for 20 of its fully electric buses destined for the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new buses will provide airfield passenger transportation, replacing the existing fleet of diesel-powered buses and adding capacity to the system.
When operational, the new BYD fleet at LAX will comprise the largest fleet of fully electric airfield transfer buses in the United States, yet again putting a spotlight on Southern California as a leader in clean technology adoption.
LAX ordered 20 of BYD’s fully-electric 60 foot | 18.3 meter long articulated buses that will be able to carry up to 120 passengers, depending on the configuration used and can travel 250 miles | 400 kilometers on a single charge. Considering the relatively small footprint of LAX compared to a typical city route, this will be more than sufficient for a day or even a week of service around the airport.
Replacing its aging fleet of diesel transfer buses with the fully electric BYD buses will reduce fleet emissions from 308 tons of greenhouse gases to zero in an air district struggling to slash emissions to stay in compliance with federal and state emission targets. Putting the emission reduction in perspective, that’s the equivalent of saving 34,000 gallons of gasoline or removing 66 conventional passenger vehicles from the road.
The purchase of the fully-electric buses was approved at a recent meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, to position LAX to comply with LA’s “Sustainable City plan,” an initiative by Mayor Eric Garcetti to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions to 45% below the 1990 baseline levels by 2025.
The company’s Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Programs Group, Samantha Bricker, stated that “These electric buses represent an important step up in terms of sustainability and carbon footprint reduction,” and added, “By replacing 14 diesel-powered engines and expanding our battery-electric bus capacity, we’re looking at making a substantial reduction in tailpipe emissions, which means cleaner air for our guests and surrounding neighbors.”
The massive 60 foot | 18.3 meter buses will be produced at the BYD Lancaster plant in Southern California, which was just tripled in size last year and already has another 100,000 square foot expansion underway to further optimize operations at the factory. BYD entered the U.S. market in 1999 and has invested a total of around $300 million in the United States to date.
Macy Neshati, Senior Vice President of BYD Heavy Industries, said: “We are proud to provide LAX with 20 California-made electric transit buses, which will provide cleaner air and help create healthier communities.”