BYD unveils first electric commuter bus in California
Updated: 2014-04-29 12:28
By Cindy Liu in Lancaster, California (China Daily USA)
BYD Motors unveiled its first made-in-California electric bus with a ceremony attended by Governor Jerry Brown and the 60 Americans hired locally to produce the buses.
"It is a celebration of jobs. It is a celebration for all of California," BYD Motors CEO Stella Li told the audience on Monday that also included R. Rex Paris, the mayor of Lancaster where the buses are being manufactured and BYD's first plant in the US.
From right: Stella Li, CEO of BYD Motors, applauds after presenting the key of BYD’s first electric bus to Julie B. Austin, executive director of the Antelope Valley Transit Agency, and agency chairman Norm Hickling, while California Governor Jerry Brown looks on in California on Monday. PHOTO BY Cindy Liu / CHINA DAILY
BYD employees were dressed in their company uniforms for the ceremony. The company is committed to creating 100 local jobs by end of 2014 and 200 more by end of 2015.
Brown praised the partnership established by BYD and the United States.
"Great minds collaborate together and this is why people can make a better world to live in," he said. "Whatever works for California can work in China too. By putting the US and China's great technologies and expertise together, I believe Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai can be as clean as cities are in California today."
When asked why Lancaster was chosen as the site to produce the 40-foot-long green bus, Li said, "When you meet the right leadership, everything moves so smoothly." She praised Paris for the effort he has put into making the bus a reality.
"I have traveled to China five times and I will go there more often to ensure this great partnership we have with BYD in China, " Paris said.
Mike Antonovich of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said Lancaster is "the gate way to a new model of international partnership with China, " with BYD being "a pioneer and setting a great example."
Lanny Davis, an attorney for BYD and a former White House special counsel, praised the bus technology. "It is clean. It is silent. And it is economic. China's world leading company has made green life come true," he said. "We save 2.77 trees per day."
Electric buses run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with peak charging time of 3 to 5 hours, with No transmission, clutch, or an internal-combustion engine. The buses can hold up to 60 passengers and are designed with low floors and without steps for easy entry.
BYD's electric bus has been tested for more North American miles at more Transit Authorities than any other electric bus. According to research, an electric bus saves 2.77 trees a day, literally a forest each month on U.S. road.
Located in northern Los Angeles Country, the City of Lancaster has earned the Eddy Award for "Most Business Friendly City" from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.