We’ve been covering the fairly rapid uptake in electric bus use in overseas countries, particularly North America, China and Europe.
Now comes news of a new partnership that might drive the roll-out of electric transit buses in the U.S. even further ahead in coming years.
Chinese-owned electric bus manufacturer BYD Motors has announced a new partnership with Generate Capital, a leading financier and investor in infrastructure development.
The deal will see $200 million USD (approx. $270 million AUD) allocated to a pioneering lease program.
The bus manufacturer and the financier say this will help public and private sector clients accelerate the adoption of battery-powered electric buses.
Promising a reduction in upfront costs, BYD and Generate Capital are looking to be at the forefront of the predicted 500% increase in the nation’s electric bus fleet over the next eight years.
There are currently only around 300 electric buses operating in U.S. cities, about two-thirds of which are BYD-produced vehicles.
Scott Jacobs, Generate Capital’s CEO and co-founder says the new leasing option could save operators tens of thousands of dollars each year.
“Electric buses produce almost no greenhouse gas emissions; they’re cheaper to operate than diesel buses; have lower maintenance costs; and they’re quieter and more pleasant for the rider.
“Traditional leasing companies typically don’t value any residual in electric vehicles, which makes financing difficult.
“Programs like these are an all-around win for project developers, customers, and for the environment.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that every zero-emission bus eliminates approximately 1,690 tons of annual CO2 emissions, a total equivalent to taking 27 cars off the road.
While switching to electric power can help prevent approximately 10 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions, and 350 pounds (158kgs) of diesel particulate matter.
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