Chinese automaker BYD, which is partly owned by Warren Buffet’s Hathaway, has secured an order for 10 electric buses from Long Beach Transit Authority.
Long Beach Transit Authority serves portions of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
BYD Senior Vice President Stella Li has told Bloomberg that the authority’s board has approved an initial purchase order of 10 electric buses costing $800,000 each. Partner agencies of the authority could buy another 50 buses.
The Shenzhen-based BYD opened a bus factory in California a year ago. It was part of the company’s expansion plans into the US, Canadian and Latin American markets.
The Long Beach deal is BYD’s biggest order for electric buses outside its home market. Globally, the company has sold more than 5,000 of its electric buses, of which 50 are in operation in the US.
Hou Yan, the head of sales at BYD, said at the Shanghai auto show last week that the company aimed to sell about 15,000 electric cars to taxi fleets and about 6,000 electric buses this year. The automaker also has plans to sell 200 electric buses in the US this year.
Further, the company plans to start taking orders for electric trucks from overseas buyers in the second half of the year and begin deliveries in 2016.
The US should be one of the first purchasers according to Li, the BYD senior VP. After initial exports, the company also plans to begin production of its trucks in the US itself.
Ajith Kumar S