Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. will make buses at its Lancaster facility for use by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Metro is acquiring five 40-foot electric buses early next year with the option to purchase up to another 20 buses after a period of testing and evaluation. The buses are part of a $30-million clean air bus technology pilot project.

In May, BYD opened its Lancaster manufacturing plant, its second location in the U.S. after the Los Angeles headquarters. The company is also making electric buses for Long Beach Transit.

The Metro pilot project will test new electric-vehicle technologies that can extend range, better integrate subsystems and use lighter weight construction.

“Metro already operates the nation's largest compressed natural gas bus fleet, but this initiative sets Metro on a new course for transitioning to even cleaner electric buses that will be assembled right here in Los Angeles County,” said Metro Board Chairman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, in a statement.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.