AVTA Chairman of the Board Marvin Crist spoke of the many benefits to the community and beyond that are a result of the electrification of AVTA’s fleet.
“AVTA’s fleet of 75 currently includes about 35 electric buses, which have now completed a million miles of travel. Thus far, approximately 252,000 gallons of diesel fuel has been saved with the new battery electric fleet. This equates to a net savings of $310,000 in fuel costs,” said Crist. “We expect AVTA’s entire fleet to be converted to electric buses as we reach our second million miles, and the savings will be even greater by then - nearly $500,000 in fuel costs saved.”
During a special board meeting in February 2016, the AVTA Board of Directors voted to award a contract to BYD to manufacture 85 (75 plus 10 for expansion) electric buses over a five year period at BYD’s manufacturing facility in Lancaster, and set AVTA on the path to pioneering battery electric bus transportation. The $72 million project, which is nearing completion, has created a smarter, greener and more interconnected transit system serving the Antelope Valley and areas extending south into the Los Angeles basin and north to Edwards Air Force Base. By combining groundbreaking electric bus technology with wireless inductive charging technology, AVTA’s innovative bus project will be the first of its kind in the nation.
“The conversion of our fleet to 100% all-electric, zero emission buses is a history-making event, not just for AVTA but for public transportation as a whole,” stated AVTA Executive Director and CEO Macy Neshati. “Our goal from the start has been to be the first transit agency to implement electric bus technology on a broad scale, and we’re proud of the efforts that we have made thus far. Through our partnership with BYD, innovative infrastructure improvements, route planning, and alignment of the organization to a new mindset, we are on target to meet that goal.”