BYD Delivers First 60-Foot Electric Bus In US, Featuring 275 Miles Range

MAY 7 2017 BY MARK KANE 29

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) has become the first transit provider in North America to have an all-electric, 60-foot articulated electric bus in its fleet, supplied by BYD.

Antelope Valley Transit Authority received North America’s first 60-foot articulated electric bus made by BYD

It’s the production version of the prototype shown some two years ago, with a ~547 kWh battery and has an expected real world range of 275 miles according to a company spokesperson.

This particular vehicle is the first of thirteen 60-foot BYD buses ordered, together with a shorter version, in AVTA’s broader goal to switch its entire fleet to BEVs by 2018.

Another big achievement is the delivery of BYD’s 250 kW WAVE wireless charging system that should be capable of recharging the bus in around two hours.

“The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) is pleased to announce the delivery of its first 60-foot articulated electric bus made by BYD; as well as the completion of the first ever WAVE inductive chargers in Southern California. These represent major milestones achieved by the AVTA toward its goal of “100% Green by 2018” — opening an exciting new chapter of innovative, world-class transit service for the region.

Today’s accomplishments are the result of visionary leadership from local and regional community leaders. The AVTA electric bus conversion project began with a $1.9 million dollar grant from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, which provided the project with a critical kick-start. Backed by its Board of Directors, AVTA then adopted a bold vision of converting the AVTA’s entire existing bus fleet to 100% battery electric vehicles by 2018. The AVTA executive team and staff have worked tirelessly to bring this vision to life.

The partnership of BYD Motors and Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) charging systems has also been key to achieving these milestones. BYD Motors has brought both world-class transit buses, as well as new investment, into the region’s economy. Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) has developed wireless vehicle charging solutions embedded underground with no unsightly wires or overhead machinery, allowing AVTA to achieve an innovative and aesthetically pleasing model of transit service.”

AVTA Board Chairman Marvin Crist shared:

“Today represents a special day for the AVTA. After years of vision and hard work, it ushers in a new era of high quality transit service that will serve our community well — as AVTA becomes a model for other communities to follow.”

AVTA Executive Director Len Engel noted:

“Today would not have been possible without teamwork, both within AVTA and also with our partners at BYD Motors and WAVE who have worked so hard to pursue the dream of a zero emission transit fleet. Today is yet one more step towards the achievement of this vision.”

Another eBus of interest: BYD’s “Lancaster” Bus – 60 Feet Long – 171 Miles Of Range

BYD Motors President Stella Li stated:

“It has been such a pleasure partnering with the leadership of the AVTA and indeed community leaders from across the region. AVTA’s new BYD 60-foot articulated bus is the first generation of the most advanced electric bus on the market. We celebrate this exciting day for the community, and we look forward to helping the AVTA ultimately meet its 100% zero emission transit fleet goal.”

WAVE’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Masquelier, stated:

“WAVE is honored to have been chosen as the sole provider of our revolutionary 250kW wireless chargers that contribute to the AVTA’s remarkable achievement. The AVTA and entire community should be proud of setting a high bar both regionally and nationally that others will look to as the zero-emissions transit model of the near future. We look forward to continuing this exciting partnership with the AVTA and to helping provide a blueprint for other communities to follow.”

Chairman Crist concluded:

“As both AVTA Chair and Vice Mayor of the City of Lancaster, I am doubly proud – as AVTA’s goal of ‘100% Green by 2018’ dovetails perfectly with the City of Lancaster’s twin goals of becoming a Zero-Net Energy City as well as the Alternative Energy Capital of the World. Today, our two major steps at AVTA are great strides toward the City’s energy goals.”

Categories: Bus, BYD

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29 Comments on "BYD Delivers First 60-Foot Electric Bus In US, Featuring 275 Miles Range"

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serial anti tesla troll thomas

Range should be enough even for the long working days of a city bus.
Will save a lot of diesel and even more pollutions.

how much does it cost compared to a diesel bus?

Well, I doubt it will pencil out as far as costs. I thought these things were close to a million dollars??


BYD calculates that a BYD ebus over 8 years saves about $190,000 in energy costs.[24] In 2012, the price for a BYD ebus was 380,000 Euros, 100,000 more than a comparable diesel bus.[25]

todays conversion to dollars is 1.1

Thanks for hard numbers, georgeS.

Certainly we should expect the BEV bus to cost more than a comparable diesel-powered bus. But we should also expect the savings in fuel vs. electricity to more than make up for that extra cost over the expected lifetime of the bus.

For long-term planning, cities buying BEV buses certainly makes better sense than buying diesel buses. Too bad more cities aren’t doing the same. Humans in general are remarkably poor at long-term planning.

Buses are the biggest of the no-brainers for EV propulsion. And the commercial sector is far from “remarkably poor at long term planning”, much better at considering lifetime costs then private individuals shopping with their own money (which is ironic).

The cost side isn’t the only consideration. You need to be reasonably sure operational needs are covered, not just today, but for the life of the bus. Doing the logistics with charging is new territory, so naturally you proceed with caution.

But by and large, the EV bus market is production constrained.

Interesting numbers on range and kwh.

If you scale the kwh of this bus up to a 600 mile range you come out with an 1193 kwh battery.

That seems to agree fairly well with an article here about the Tesla truck that estimated a 1200 kwh battery for 600 mile range.

Can’t wait for the Sept reveal of Tesla semi truck

Tesla is generally way more efficient than BYD. The BYD e6 taxi gets only 186 real world miles from an 84 kWh battery.

So I think Tesla can do the semi with 800-1000 kWh rather than 1200.

Any efficiency improvements Tesla makes will be more than offset by extra weight and higher speeds. 600 miles in a loaded semi from a 1200 kWh pack would be a tremendous achievement. 600 miles from 800-1000 kWh is pretty delusional.

Indeed. Tesla can’t repeal the laws of physics, nor can it change the shape of existing semi trailers. Tesla can improve on the drag of the semi tractor over the typical diesel tractor, but the trailer is still the trailer. Tesla may demo a BEV semi tractor-trailer rig which has a “tail” and “skirts” on the trailer to reduce drag, but my guess is that few trucking companies would outfit all their trailers with those.

But what Elon said in the recent conference call about Tesla’s BEV semi tractor appeared to almost totally contradict everything he said previously, so at the moment all I can say is I’m quite confused about what Tesla is doing, and I’ll be interested to see just what will be produced, and if it will be just a concept vehicle (as I previously predicted) or an actual production-intent vehicle.

More likely to have a solar system on the trailer a 40ft container receives 28kw of solar energy after all.

Living in the Fly-Over states, I see the mile-long trains with containers and trailers. It seems to me the first step for Tesla Semi would be to focus on transporting those the final mile to destination.

Diesel semi’s take a heck of a beating driving in town — wasting kinetic energy as heat with the brakes at each stoplight, followed by running through 10 or more gears to regain speed before the next red light. This is the setting where electric motors with aggressive regeneration will shine. Think of the improved air quality at the rail yards where trucks typically sit idling & then accelerate onto the highway. Install the WAVE system at the rail yards and 200 miles of range should be overkill.

Final mile battery electric delivery trucks and yard trucks are already produced by BYD, you can just buy them.

I agree.

For comparison’s sake, the New Flyer 60-foot articulated hydrogen fuel-cell bus is expected to get greater than 250 miles of range. It is currently undergoing a 22-month test while operating in revenue service for Alameda County Transit (AC Transit) of California. New Flyer is the largest heavy-duty transit bus manufacturer in North America. They also already sell an BEV bus named the Xcelsior Electric.

If hydrogen were economic, efficient and at this point of development ten years ago it would have had a chance. 🙂

I actually thought hydrogen would put up more of a fight, especially for very heavy vehicles.
Batteries and biofuels seem to be a too tough nut to crack for hydrogen.

Hydrogen is actually gaining traction with regards to buses, trams, trains, semi trucks, delivery trucks, and drones.

AC Transit recently ordered 10 new hydrogen fuel cell electric buses to add to their existing fleet of 13 hydrogen buses, which will bring the hydrogen fleet to 23 buses.

South Korea will replace its entire fleet of 26,000 CNG buses with hydrogen fuel cell buses at a rate of 2,000 per year.

China is building 18 hydrogen FC trams, 330 hydrogen FC buses, and an undisclosed number of fuel cell hybrid buses that will use a small fuel cell as a range extender.

In Germany, five federal states in Germany have signed a letter of intent to purchase a total of 60 hydrogen trains from French producer Alstom with a range of 500 miles and capacity to carry 300 passengers. These hydrogen trains will replace diesel trains on non-electrified lines. Ironically, it was determined that these hydrogen trains and their fueling stations would cost less then building the infrastructure to electrify the lines and incurring the ongoing cost of maintaining/inspecting the electric catenary lines. The hydrogen used to fuel at least the initial train is a waste product of the chemical industry that would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere.


I think battery electric buses kill fuel cell buses on fuel and maintenance costs. With 275 mile range these buses will handle most daily work loads, no problem. For a lot of urban applications 275 mile range is overkill and a smaller battery option will work.

Nice range but does it really need that much just doing a regular city route? Average speed for buses are usually very low because of all the stops.


Believe it or not, as you lower speed more and more, at some point the electrical consumption gets worse. You can see it on a plot here:

Antelope Valley is rural area.

So BYD is quietly selling Electric buses.

These 60 foot long buses are very ideal for the busy city routes to haul as many passengers as possible in the rush hour. 275 mile range is more than ideal for a day’s operation.

Those buses would make even more sense in my area: Commercial off-peak rates are in the neighborhood currently of 4 cents / kwh from 11pm to 7 am.

Assuming a large bus depot of around 40 buses with a 60 kw charger per bus would be within the limits of a standard 5000 ampere, 80% rated, 480 volt electric service.

As a practical matter, and to get the demand charges reduced from $13.50/ kw to $6.00/kw, additional construction by the bus depot to access existing 23 kv ‘sub-transmission’ lines would be economic, seeing as the demand savings will pay for it in a 5 year time span. One of the local grocery store chains even does this with tiny (under 1000 kw) demands – feeling that the extra construction cost is justified, and then is not ‘bothered’ by utility complaints that their existing substations cannot withstand any larger than 750 kw added load per feeder, since this arrangement eliminates the utility’s distribution substation facilities entirely.

Can’t they not make a Double Decker bus??

Yes, they made it: together with Scottish busbuilder ADL BYD put into service 52 red fully electric double deckers in London back in 2016.

Electric buses save taxpayers a fortune as well as emissions.

Exciting news this articulated e-bus! But data need to be coherent, as no official statement by BYD has been cited so far, one has to quess: – Is Mark sure about battery capacity of cca. 547 kWh? That is 2015 data, for the 2016 Model the battery capacity is 591 kWh – see BYD homepage: Why should they step back in 2017, when range by a single charge is so crucial for e-buses? – Is AVTA sure about the 275 mile range? That is a quite unbelievable jump from 170 mile of the 2015 and 200 mile of the 2016 Model – not even really needed by transit companies. However if the useful battery capacity of 591 kWh is 80%, i.e. 473 kWh, and the consumption is 2,73 kWh/mi, then the range with one charge is 173 miles, which turns out to be cca 277 kilometers – not miles. More philosophycal questions: -Where is the borderline between slow and quick charging of buses? If e-bus batteries are to be charged only by 0,5C (that is slow, isn’t it?) but their capacity is 591 kWh (as this BYD K11) even 0,5C allows for nearly 300 kWh charging capacity. Is that… Read more »