BYD helps create first 100% electric bus fleet for U.S. school district

BYD (Build Your Dreams) is partnering with a California school district to create the first U.S. school district with a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet.

The deal with Los Olivos Elementary School District will bring a BYD Type A electric school bus, “The Achiever,” to students in Santa Barbara County.

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BYD Type A electric school bus

Members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers Union, Local 105, will perform the final assembly of the bus at BYD’s manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California.

“Since we began this process, our goal was to be the first school district in the Santa Ynez Valley to have a fleet that could serve our students and our community. And, through this partnership, we have accomplished just that,” said Ray Vazquez, Superintendent/Principal of Los Olivos Elementary School District, in a statement. “Our electric buses will provide cleaner transportation and benefit our community by decreasing our carbon footprint. On behalf of the Los Olivos school district and the community, we are thrilled to partner with BYD.”

An important milestone

BYD Senior Vice President of Operations Patrick Duan said the purchase marks an important milestone in the community.

“BYD’s innovative and safe battery technology will not only bring the students of Los Olivos to school in style, but will also provide comfort to their parents, who can expect safety, reliability and long-lasting performance from the BYD Achiever Type A school bus.”

Los Olivos parent and volunteer Kathryn Rohrer praised the partnership.

“We are deeply grateful to BYD’s school bus team for their encouragement and genuine enthusiasm for our little school district’s giant dream of investing in a healthier future by going electric,” she said. “This is an incredible opportunity to share with our students, and our neighbors throughout the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, that even the smallest among us can help advance the goals of sustainable infrastructure and environmental justice.”

Achieving sustainability goals

ChargePoint, a leading electric vehicle charging network, will provide charging infrastructure to Los Olivos Elementary School District for the Type A school bus.

“Through our partnership with BYD, we are delivering a turnkey solution to school districts looking to achieve their sustainability goals through electrifying their bus fleets,” said Rich Mohr, Vice President, Fleet Solutions, at ChargePoint. 

“Forward-thinking districts like Los Olivos are making a positive impact within their community by implementing the infrastructure required to support electrification,” Mohr said. “With this project, not only has Los Olivos electrified the school bus fleet, but it has also expanded the charging network into the workplace, providing public vehicle charging for staff and visitors.”

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