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Electric Buses in America

Lessons from Cities Pioneering Clean Transportation

A report created by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group
Written by Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Morgan Folger, Environment America Research & Policy Center and James Horrox, Frontier Group

Download the report here: https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/electric-buses-america

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Their interior seems to have cleaned up a bit since the 2017 demo unit. It looks nicer without a bunch of access panels in the rear.

35354251353_d8a183ecbe_t.jpg

Edit, and here's the 2014/2015 one as well for another comparison.

17855368856_a96709499f_t.jpg

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Where I am from

I am very disgusted that Marin transit, Soltrans, Tri-Delta Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Antelope Valley Transit, Monterey Salinas Transit, Santa Barbara Transit, LADOT, and countless others around California purchased these horrible and inferior  buses.
 

I just hope when it comes to the SFMTA and their pilot program for battery electric buses, they either purchase New Flyer or Proterra as their battery electric flagships

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15 hours ago, Samtransxmuni said:

Where I am from

I am very disgusted that Marin transit, Soltrans, Tri-Delta Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Antelope Valley Transit, Monterey Salinas Transit, Santa Barbara Transit, LADOT, and countless others around California purchased these horrible and inferior  buses.

Curious if that's personal opinion, or (besides Antelope Valley and LADOT which are well documented) you've seen anything published from these transit agencies that indicated BYD's are "horrible and inferior"? 

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2 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

Curious if that's personal opinion, or (besides Antelope Valley and LADOT which are well documented) you've seen anything published from these transit agencies that indicated BYD's are "horrible and inferior"? 

Well yes that’s just my opinion based off the fact that ABQ ride, LACMTA, and Denver RTD have reported something of late delivery, inferior battery range, cost, and durability and yes I get the fact that electric bus technology is uncharted territory especially for the heavy duty bus but come on 

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On 12/2/2019 at 3:59 AM, Samtransxmuni said:

Where I am from

I am very disgusted that Marin transit, Soltrans, Tri-Delta Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Antelope Valley Transit, Monterey Salinas Transit, Santa Barbara Transit, LADOT, and countless others around California purchased these horrible and inferior  buses.

Wait!  Tri-Delta Transit also has Proterra's.  

Meanwhile, Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) is probably in bed with BYD as long as its US ops is around, as it is based right at AVTA's backyard in Lancaster.

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16 hours ago, Buzz2kb said:

Wait!  Tri-Delta Transit also has Proterra's.  

Meanwhile, Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) is probably in bed with BYD as long as its US ops is around, as it is based right at AVTA's backyard in Lancaster.

Of course I knew Tri-Delta Transit has proterras obviously that was a wise choice On their  but I dunno why they also choose a bus that isn’t true to it’s marketed standards and give BYD money to a bad regime. They should have gone with the New Flyer electric bus or the “built locally” Gillig electric bus and unfortunately I’m just going to call that a major loss on avta.

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On 12/2/2019 at 8:11 PM, Samtransxmuni said:

Well yes that’s just my opinion based off the fact that ABQ ride, LACMTA, and Denver RTD have reported something of late delivery, inferior battery range, cost, and durability and yes I get the fact that electric bus technology is uncharted territory especially for the heavy duty bus but come on 

Cool, I generally agree. I think that build quality has had issues, delivery times are 100% unreliable. Range seems to be an issue with the 60' buses. And that's where I've been trying to watch out for- range issues with 40' and smaller buses. I haven't heard too many issues there so far. 

Frankly, I think BYD should have gone the route of supplying propulsion packages rather than entire buses.

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8 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

Cool, I generally agree. I think that build quality has had issues, delivery times are 100% unreliable. Range seems to be an issue with the 60' buses. And that's where I've been trying to watch out for- range issues with 40' and smaller buses. I haven't heard too many issues there so far. 

Frankly, I think BYD should have gone the route of supplying propulsion packages rather than entire buses.

Well hey agreeing is always nice, 

apparently according to the La times the LACMTA’s 40ft buses couldn’t be reliable drives after a hundred miles, can’t climb the hills there, and broke down frequently. It got so bad that they were pulled off the streets  after 5 miles and the idea of them just selling propulsion packages seems wild in my opinion but I agree to that but I just think it would be better to avoid the North American market is a better idea along with the CRRC which unfortunately supplies to the MBTA and Chicago Transit Authority.

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 so a while back I read a article bout WSDOT purchasing 150-800 byd buses for god knows what and the wiki for king county metro purchasing byd buses as well and I checked their website for customers and I didn’t see King County’s or WSDOT’s logo(s) so did that or those order(s)  ever follow through?

here’s one of the articles for WSDOT

https://electrek.co/2015/09/04/byd-inked-a-deal-with-the-state-of-washington-for-up-to-800-electric-buses/amp/

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^ That is one of those general state contracts where a transit authority or operator in WA can then just exercise options on that contract and order buses at the price stated vs. having to do their own RFP procurement process. Whether any agencies will actually use it is another matter. WSDOT may have similar deals with other manufacturers as well.

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11 hours ago, MVTArider said:

^ That is one of those general state contracts where a transit authority or operator in WA can then just exercise options on that contract and order buses at the price stated vs. having to do their own RFP procurement process. Whether any agencies will actually use it is another matter. WSDOT may have similar deals with other manufacturers as well.

Ah I see, well WSDOT made the unwisest choice of buses but if it was a reason of cost from the enormous order then that’s understandable 

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Congress Wants to Ban Chinese Buses, Railcars in Defense Bill 

House and Senate Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on language in the National Defense Authorization Act that would bar the use of federal funds to buy Chinese buses and railcars, congressional aides familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal, adding that the ban excludes pre-existing contracts.

The legislation would affect the U.S. subsidiaries of two Chinese companies. One is China’s state-owned CRRC Corp. , which has been making significant inroads into the U.S. market for railcars, estimated at $18 billion annually. The other is BYD Co., a Chinese company that sells electric buses for the U.S. market through unit BYD Motors LLC.

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As I opined in THIS POST back in October, I really disagree with banning BYD orders (and/or bar the use of federal funds to buy) and I'll kind of reiterate why:

Its corporate offices (BYD North America/BYD USA) are in Los Angeles with a manufacturing plant in Lancaster California  ...at the site of the former Rexhall motorhome manufacturing facility.

Here's why I generally don't agree:

As mentioned, BYD does have an autonomous U.S. subsidiary and employs over 700 union workers in the U.S. and a substantial number of U.S. managers.

It also uses many U.S. made parts at its Lancaster operation thus providing jobs for a lot of support workers both locally in southern California but also around the country.  The Lancaster plant also supplies other types of economic support for the local economy  ...Americans working at the BYD plant have to buy groceries, eat at restaurants, stop at coffee stands on their way to work, etc., etc., etc.

BYD is owned by a substantial number of U.S. investors (I thought I once read that it was held by over 60% U.S. and non-Chinese shareholders --but I'll have to check on that)  ...with Warren Buffet (from Omaha Nebraska ...in the good ole USA), the "God of Stocks"  (Berkshire Hathaway), being  a major shareholder in the company.  Buffet bought into the company in 2008 and I think I remember it being said that he has played a role in the company's success since then.  

Although BYD may not yet have the quality of its competitors, I personally believe in competition and in time may put out a quality product.  

If BYD was wholly owned by Chinese, had all of its manufacturing in China, and was exporting all their buses to the U.S. from China, it would then be another story.  In that case, yes, I could possibly agree that it may be a good idea.

 

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Well, believe it or not, I had a sleepless night thinking about the situation.  I often accuse trump of "shallow thinking" but here I'm doing the same thing.  

Yes, it may be a good idea to ban BYD in the U.S. if what is being purported is true  ...that China is attempting to be dominant world-wide in the train and bus manufacturing industry.   

Perhaps the congressman's reasoning is right in that we have to attempt to stop China now even though hundreds of Californians could lose their jobs and the local economy possibly may suffer in the near term.  I don't know?

I don't want to get into politics and I'm certainly no political scientist but perhaps my initial comments were made in haste.  We want to have sensible trade policies with China but since they are a  political adversary, should they be kept more in check?   Would it be a different story if it was a friendly Asian trade partner such as Japan or South Korea?   Are Warren Buffet and other U.S. investors traitors for buying into BYD and helping them become world dominant?  I don't know.

If there are in fact security risks possible then my opinion in the previous post should be firmly disregarded.

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On the one hand it’s probably healthy for a Western government to have a fair bit of scepticism toward Chinese technology. And given the US’s history in Asian countries, the Chinese government is probably plenty suspicious about them anyway.

On the other hand, BYD and CRRC have both made a pretty big commitment to the US. BYD’s Lancaster facility, as you mentioned. CRRC has opened an assembly plant in Springfield as well as one in Chicago. If I’m not mistaken, they will also open one in Los Angeles for sub assemblies going towards the city’s new subway car order.

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If I remember correctly from reading an article, the writer wrote in it that byd was state owned apart from buffet’s ( waste of money) investment, and I also read that 60% of parts needed for the buses are American and the rest are most likely Chinese only question is what kind of parts? 
 

basically I think this ban is a wonderful idea by Congress yes the loss of BYD and CRRC equals a loss of a good amount of jobs but I’d rather risk jobs than wise tax investments or national security politically speaking    

So I just so happen to look on both byd and proterra websites to not only find the horrors of Tri Delta Transit but to also find the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District order both Proterra and BYD buses could anyone confirm that ? 

 

Also I really hope that muni buys Proterra  or New Flyer
 

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16 hours ago, Samtransxmuni said:

So I just so happen to look on both byd and proterra websites to not only find the horrors of Tri Delta Transit but to also find the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District order both Proterra and BYD buses could anyone confirm that ?
 

This article says that Santa Cruz Metro is getting Proterra and Gillig electric buses. No mention of BYD.

https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2019/10/09/metro-receives-training-on-zero-emission-buses/

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On 12/15/2019 at 7:41 PM, 2044 said:

healthy

Could you expand a bit on what "healthy" means?

As for "security risk"... seriously? If this gets passed today, tomorrow we can use the same argument to expel all Chinese students. Or to deport all Chinese immigrants.

Also, how are we sure that the cameras/sensors are not locally sourced and have nothing to do with China? The cameras are for the benefit of the transit company, if you're so skeptical then don't order them from factory and install it in your garage!

Why should Canadian buses run down the streets without hassle, in the same logic? Can't the RCMP use the "cameras and sensors" to monitor Americans as well? The Forbes article says it "benefits competitors such as Gillig, Proterra and New Flyer"... no mention of New Flyer being foreign as well? What's that double standard?

Whether BYD or CRRC or Huawei or whatever it should be aimed at the specific company... not categorizing things and discriminate them...

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20 hours ago, Samtransxmuni said:

If I remember correctly from reading an article, the writer wrote in it that byd was state owned apart from buffet’s ( waste of money) investment, and I also read that 60% of parts needed for the buses are American and the rest are most likely Chinese only question is what kind of parts? 
 

basically I think this ban is a wonderful idea by Congress yes the loss of BYD and CRRC equals a loss of a good amount of jobs but I’d rather risk jobs than wise tax investments or national security politically speaking    

So I just so happen to look on both byd and proterra websites to not only find the horrors of Tri Delta Transit but to also find the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District order both Proterra and BYD buses could anyone confirm that ? 

 

Also I really hope that muni buys Proterra  or New Flyer
 

According to the article linked below, BYD is NOT state-owned but it does receive subsidies from the Chinese government. 

Bus, stopped? Why BYD's electric bus operations may be cut short in the US

It also claims that it sources 70% of its components to U.S. companies used at their Lancaster California plant  ...70% is still quite a bit even if it's assumed that 30% is coming from China.  My inclination is to believe that not all the 30% is coming from China, however.  Remember, the cars with the most total-domestic-content have a maximum of about 85% U.S. and Canadian content.  The new Ford Ranger only as 35% North American content.

Again, it appears that it depends on one's political view as to a person's contention that because the Chinese government subsidizes (but does not own) BYD, that they intend to dominate the North American transit market in the coming years and also can't be trusted to not put spying devices inside the buses they build.  It almost sounds like a conspiracy theory to me but again, I'm not that into strong political views other than I despise "trumpian" thought processes and the man himself (apologies to those who worship him)   --but, hah! I guess that does make me have "strong political views" LOL

 

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Regarding the concern over using cameras and sensors to 'spy on us',

A - If a foreign interest was determined enough they could probably just hack into systems or cloud anyways regardless of who built or sourced the hardware/software.

B - For some agencies camera footage is technically viewable via a data request. Yes it's a PITA to actually get said footage, but legally in some cases anyone who requests can view provided they are compensating the agency for staff time and cost.

Honestly from a practical standpoint I'd be more concerned about foreign interference in our personal autos. Wrecking operational havoc via software hacks on Random City USA's transit system isn't going to do a whole lot aside from the major metropolitan regions. Causing mass disruption on a country-wide level by hacking our cars via the imported tech installed would be more noticeable and cause significant issues.

So anyways what was this tread about again? I guess I should get back on topic now. :)

23 hours ago, Samtransxmuni said:

Also I really hope that muni buys Proterra  or New Flyer

A Protato would look pretty good in the MUNI scheme.

I'm curious to see what will happen with ADL as well. ADL seems to be doing alright offering the 200EV in the UK with BYD propulsion. Ones I rode all seemed to run great and I haven't heard of any issues. However Foothill is going with a propulsion from Proterra on their Enviro 500.

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