With Federal Grant Issue Solved, Long Beach Transit Re-Orders 10 Electric Buses From BYD

MAY 11 2015 BY MARK KANE 11

The 40-foot BYD electric bus (American-made in BYD's Lancaster, CA factory)

The 40-foot BYD electric bus (American-made in BYD’s Lancaster, CA factory)

BYD returns to the game in Long Beach as electric bus supplier after an unfortunate first tender.

The Chinese company already won an order for 10 electric buses, but at the time a formal problem blocked federal grant money and the contract was mutually terminated.

It seems that BYD Motors sorted out all the paper work and the Lancaster, CA factory will get the job for these 10 electric buses, after BYD secured the new order.

Long Beach Transit will pay $11,069,319 and receive the vehicles by fall 2016 with an option for 14 more. With potentially 24 some day, that would electrify 10% of the 249-strong bus fleet.

The buses will be used on the Passport route in downtown Long Beach.

“On April 27, 2015, the Long Beach Transit (LBT) Board of Directors authorized Kenneth McDonald, LBT President and CEO, to enter into a contract with Los Angeles-based company BYD Motors, Inc. for the purchase of 10 battery electric buses and supporting charging systems. The LBT Board approved up to $11,069,319 which also includes training and required equipment in support of the purchase.

The LBT Staff recommendation was the culmination and conclusion of a competitive bidding process that included the issuing of a detailed Request For Proposals (RFP) on September 23, 2014.BYD Motors’ response to the RFP deemed most responsive and responsible and met the requirements outlined in the request.”

“As a major benefit to Long Beach Transit, BYD Motors offered a 12-year warranty on major components of the propulsion system, including the battery. Twelve years is considered the useful life of a public transit bus, and is the minimum time the Federal Transit Administration expects a transit agency to maintain a bus.”

LBT CEO, Kenneth McDonald said:

“The Long Beach Transit Board made a historic decision today that will not only benefit our customers, but will also be a win for our community. Our new battery electric buses will be zero-emission. This is the cleanest bus we have offered to date, and it’s the leading edge of technology in the industry. We are happy to be working with BYD Motors to bring our most eco-friendly transit vehicle option to Long Beach.”

Categories: Bus, BYD


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11 Comments on "With Federal Grant Issue Solved, Long Beach Transit Re-Orders 10 Electric Buses From BYD"

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Proterra is an American company selling electric buses. I cannot locate a head-to-head specs comparison between the Proterra bus and the BYD bus. Perhaps InsideEVs can provide this comparison.

The Proterra bus had around a 35 mile range and needed quick chargers installed at specific stops. Now they have the Proterra Catalyst with a modular battery. You can have up to 10 packs at 13kWh each which would give you up to 75 miles of range max and then a quick charge station at the end of the line. The BYD bus has a much larger battery with a 155 mile range for the standard bus and 170 miles for the “Lancaster” articulating model.

Proterra recently introduced its next generation bus with up to 180 miles of range.


BYD makes the only bus I know of with a decent sized battery. I wish them the best of luck.

It kind makes me want to go over to Long Beach to try it.

Solaris Urbino (Poland), 210 kWh

Ebusco 2.0 (the Netherlands), 311 kWh

Euracom Eurabus (Germany), 314 kWh

Irizar (Spain), 376 kWh

Skoda Perun (Czech republic), 222 kWh

GreenPower (Canada), 320 kWh (don’t know if they have actually sold anything though unlike the european companies)

Then there are of course a number of 75-130 kWh buses (Volvo, Rampini, Optare, Proterra, VDL Citea, Hybricon etc.) and companies but not “decent sized” since they all need swapping/fast charging to work a full day.

But of course none come close to the numbers that BYD has sold in China, that are just amazing.

Nice. It’s great to have the option to choose, even if it’s just from a tiny player like ProTerra.

This is great for resorts.
Loud, Stink of Diesel doesn’t make downtowns appealing.

BYD electric buses are all Stanford buys after looking at the immense cost savings over diesel buses.

They’ll soon have 23 : )

Now we need more electric school buses. If the lifetime cost savings are there, it should be good for taxpayers. Do the buses have gas heaters in the colder climates? I think I read that somewhere.