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Going Green: Spokane Transit Evaluates All-Electric Bus on City Routes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Cars in China Buses Topics:  Spokane Transit Authority

Going Green: Spokane Transit Evaluates All-Electric Bus on City Routes

March 7, 2014

BYD Electric Vehicles
SPOKANE, WA – Spokane Transit has been invited to participate in a state-wide evaluation of an all-electric bus produced by BYD Motors. The zero-emissions bus debuts today in Spokane. “We are looking forward to running the vehicle for about a month,” said E. Susan Meyer, STA Chief Executive Officer. “We are always interested in exploring environmentally-friendly, cost-effective fuel alternatives.” The bus will alternate between routes 22, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 throughout March.

STA integrated the first hybrid diesel-electric buses into its fleet in 2007. That number has now grown to 28. STA’s hybrid buses have 17% better fuel economy than standard diesel buses and produce 17% less emissions. Eight new buses arriving this year will be fitted with an electric cooling systems technology that STA tested and found to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions by an additional 6% over buses using a conventional hydraulic cooling system. STA has also upgraded the transmission systems on its buses for additional fuel economy and emissions reduction.

STA’s testing of electric bus technology comes at an opportune time because the board will be making decisions about bus replacements planned for delivery in 2018-2019. "We are delighted to work with Spokane Transit,” said Stella Li, President of BYD Motors. “They have a visionary leadership team that desires not only the most reliable service, but also the most cost effective for their communities -- we applaud their efforts to introduce a technology that will not harm the environment." BYD describes the all-electric bus as “clean, silent and efficient,” using the industry's first environmentally-friendly, fire-safe battery chemistry. This 324 kilowatt, non-toxic, iron-phosphate battery can power the bus for up to 24 hours on a single, night-time charge. The battery will last 20 years beyond the average 12-year life of a bus, and can be reused in non-transportation applications.

About STA

STA provides public transportation services through fixed route (bus), paratransit and vanpool. The agency employs more than 500 people and is overseen by a regional board of 10 members, comprised of nine elected officials representing Spokane County and the cities of Airway Heights, Cheney, Medical Lake, Millwood, Liberty Lake, Spokane and Spokane Valley, and a non-voting labor member. For more information about STA and for a schedule of the E-bus routes, please visit www.spokanetransit.com.

About BYD

BYD Company Ltd. is one of China’s largest companies and has successfully expanded globally. Specializing in battery technologies, their green mission to “solve the whole problem” has made them industry pioneers and leaders in several High-tech sectors including High-efficiency Automobiles, Electrified Public Transportation, Environmentally-Friendly Energy Storage, Affordable Solar Power and Information Technology and Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) services.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, their mission to create safer and more environmentally friendly battery technologies has led to the development of the BYD Iron Phosphate (or "Fe") Battery. This fire-safe, completely recyclable and incredibly long-cycle technology has become the core of their clean energy platform that has expanded into automobiles, buses, trucks, utility vehicles and energy storage facilities. BYD and all of their shareholders, including the great American Investor Warren Buffett, see these environmentally and economically forward products as the way of the future.

BYD has made a strong entrance to the North, Central and South American markets with their battery electric buses, and lineup of automobiles. Their mission lies not just in sales growth, but also in sociological integration and local job creation as they have poured incredible investments into developing offices, dealerships and manufacturing facilities in the local communities they now call home, truly a first for Chinese companies. For more information, please visit www.byd.com

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