Are diesel’s days numbered? A view from a trip to BYD’s electric bus factory at Lancaster, California
One single diesel transit bus consumes the equivalent of 10,440 gallons of gasoline a year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Replacing that diesel-burning transit bus with an electric bus has some obvious benefits. Electric buses improve local air quality, because the particulates that come from burning diesel don't exist. And, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, an electric bus runs cleaner than a diesel bus no matter where you plug it in on the US grid, even if you're plugging into a grid fed by fossil fuels.
In the desert north of Los Angeles, a Chinese company called BYD (short for "Build Your Dreams") is banking on transit managers realizing this. BYD offered Ars a tour of its Lancaster facility in July, and we found a bustling factory floor filled with 900 workers who were building, welding, shaping, and painting about 90 buses in various stages of completion. The company's workforce, recently unionized, is expected to grow to 1,200 in the near future.
So far, BYD has put more than 250 electric buses on US roads, and, as of mid-July, the company had more than 400 orders in the pipeline.
BYD isn't the only company making electric buses for North America: companies like Proterra and New Flyer Industries have also been churning out their fair share of battery-operated vehicles. As cities, counties, companies, and colleges try to move away from diesel, factories like BYD's stand to grow quickly.
See some interesting photos of the build process at https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/08/are-diesels-days-numbered-a-view-from-a-trip-to-byds-electric-bus-factory/
|Are diesel’s days numbered? A view from a trip to BYD’s electric bus factory
Buses emit a lot of carbon dioxide, but BYD is making our fleets cleaner.