BYD and the Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency (AVSTA) in Lancaster, Calif., agreed to a deal to bring 20 battery-electric school buses into the fleet.
The vehicles will be built at the BYD Coach & Bus facility not far from the schools.
"It's great to see our community take advantage of funding that's out there for electric school buses," said Patrick Duan, BYD senior vice president. "This agreement puts the community on the road to being the nation's first region with fully electric transit and school buses. We are proud of our close partnerships here."
Morris Fuselier III, CEO of AVSTA, said this is just the first step on a journey to bring clean transportation to students in the area.
“We here in the Antelope Valley are concerned about not only the health of our environment, but we are also focused on the health and well-being of our students, the future of our valley and our country," Fuselier said. "This is the beginning of our effort to build the largest electric school bus fleet in the state that will provide clean, efficient transportation to our students while protecting the clean, fresh air and blue skies of our home, the Antelope Valley. With partners like BYD and the support of the City of Lancaster, we will certainly succeed in insuring a brighter, cleaner future.”
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris noted that AVSTA is on track to be the first school transportation provider in California to operate a 100% zero-emission school bus fleet.
"Just a few short years ago we were told this was not possible, " Parris said. "But we found a way to work together to make this golden opportunity a reality for the Antelope Valley and our schools. We want to create a template for the world to follow: If you do this, our grandchildren will survive global climate change. When that bus takes off after dropping them off, they won’t be breathing that exhaust, which is nothing but poison."