The Chinese company BYD has failed to bring an all-electric passenger car in the United States, but apparently their electric buses are “charging” into the US market. Specifically, in California. So the first Chinese auto imports are…buses.
BYD has signed a contract to sell 25 eBus electric buses to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. These are only the first set of electric-drive buses that BYD intends to sell in the US, according to BYD vice president of fleet sales Brendan Riley.
Unfortunately, Americans aren’t as keen on public transit as many other developed nations are. In accordance with the deal, 5 buses are to be delivered initially and be tested on various routes to determine which routes they work best on.
The batteries each have 324 kWh worth of batteries, which is good for about 155 miles of travel. That’s enough to cover an average transit route, and the five-hour recharge time isn’t egregious either. But will these electric BYD buses found popularity outside of L.A?