The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has launched a pilot program to use 10 fully electric vehicles from a fast-growing Chinese manufacturer that is locating its new U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.

BYD (Build Your Dreams) is a Chinese manufacturer of rechargeable batteries that has expanded in recent years into the electric vehicle industry. Under the test program, the city will pay BYD $400 a month per vehicle for one year. The "iceland blue" electric sedans will replace a fleet of hybrid Toyota Priuses used by the agency's inspectors.

BYD has already announced plans to locate its new U.S. corporate headquarters in a 30,000 square-foot facility at 1800 S. Figueroa St., on the downtown Auto Row. The company is also still looking at locations for a new manufacturing plant, with Lancaster making a pitch to compete against Los Angeles.

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