BYD, a global electric vehicle company, says its all-new K8M, a 35-foot zero-emission public transit bus, set a high-scoring record in the Federal Transit Administration Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pa.
The record-setting performance included high marks in structural durability, reliability, maintainability and safety. As a result, U.S. transit agencies can use FTA funding to buy the transit bus.
“We set a new benchmark and record for the entire U.S. electric bus industry,” says Patrick Duan, senior vice president of BYD North America. “The Altoona test results prove the K8M will give our customers the best reliability and lowest maintenance costs they deserve and demand. I’m very proud of our team and I’m happy that our customers will benefit when they deploy the K8M.”
The popular BYD 35-foot electric bus is already in revenue service with several agencies across the U.S. including LINK Transit in Wenatchee, Wash., Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority in Georgia, Baton Rouge’s Capital Area Transit System, the Vineyard Transit Authority of Massachusetts resort community of Martha’s Vineyard, the Regional Transit Authority of Central Maryland and California’s Fresno County Rural Transit Agency.
The K8M can seat up to 33 passengers and is equipped with an up to 435 kWh LFP battery and can be fully charged within 3 hours. BYD now offers four low-floor transit buses with Altoona certification with the K8M joining the 30-foot K7M, the 40-foot K9M and the 60-foot articulated K11M. All of BYD’s zero-emission buses not only meet but also exceed FTA Buy America requirements, incorporating more than 70% U.S. content.
BYD is the first battery-electric bus manufacturer that has both a unionized workforce and a community benefits agreement, which sets goals for hiring veterans, single parents, second-chance citizens and others facing hurdles in obtaining manufacturing employment. In addition, in partnership with SMART Local 105 and Antelope Valley College, BYD set up an apprenticeship program, improving production quality and efficiency and giving employees valuable skills that will benefit their careers.