The ceremony began with an invitation to attendees to “throw off the shackles of a single-fueled system – an electric platform is ‘adaptable’ – it becomes cleaner as you do, through the use of renewable wind, water and solar renewable power generation,” stated vice president Michael Austin as he challenged the status-quo of those promoting fossil fuels as a clean alternative. “The consequences of our choices today will leave a legacy that our children will live with, both environmentally and economically, for decades into the future.”
The bus was named “The Lancaster” after the city in California where it was designed and manufactured. Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist proclaimed, "BYD Motors is an American manufacturing company residing in an industrial zone in the city of Lancaster – they have now hired over 60 Americans to build clean-tech electric buses and Energy Modules out of Lancaster, Calif."
The Lancaster eBus, a break-through, 60-foot, articulated battery-electric bus, can drive 170+ miles with a passenger load of up to 120 passengers, was in development for almost two years.
"BYD's mission is to create safer and more environmentally-friendly battery technologies,” said BYD Motors Fleet Sales vice president, Brendan Riley. “This has resulted in the BYD Iron-Phosphate Battery, a fire-safe, completely recyclable, and incredibly long-cycle technology -- the foundation of BYD's Electric buses. These buses run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with single off-peak charging time of 2-4 hours.No additional generation capacity is needed to be built to charge our buses at night since the grid is only 40% utilized.”
Also on display at the BYD Exhibit was a 40-foot, Battery-electric Transit bus from Antelope Valley Transit Authority. AVTA Board Chairman Norm Hickling said that the 40-foot bus on the Expo show floor was the only bus, “that drove over 1500 zero-emission miles from Los Angeles all the way to Houston for the Expo under its own power.”
AVTA tested BYD buses in the hottest part of the Lancaster summer in August with full air-conditioning running and with 5250 pounds of sand bags to simulate a full passenger load. He further stated, “We drove nearly 100 miles more than BYD advertises -- up to 250 miles per bus charge and we covered almost 750 miles in 24 hours! We are very impressed with BYD technology and quality.” The most interesting news about this 1500 mile journey to Texas is that it was completed for “$200 in electricity--the lowest cost trip to the show of all buses.”
BYD Motors Inc is an American manufacturing company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BYD Company Ltd, the largest domestic auto-manufacturer and electric-bus manufacturer in the world. BYD is a publicly traded company, with the Hong Kong listed stock 60% of which is owned by U.S. investors, and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway as the largest single shareholder at 9.9%.