AVTA passes new electric vehicle milestone

Dec. 29, 2020
The agency’s bus fleet has logged four million miles of zero-emission operations.

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s (AVTA) electric buses achieved another milestone as the nation’s first all-electric, fixed-route bus fleet.

On Dec. 11, 2020, the agency’s zero-emission buses that are currently deployed in service, quietly crossed the four-million-mile mark.

AVTA Chairman of the Board Marvin Crist highlighted some of the benefits to the community and beyond that are a result of the electrification of AVTA’s fleet.

“In those four million electric miles, approximately 1,025,641 gallons of diesel fuel have been saved,” said Crist. “This equates to a net savings of $1,283,449 in fuel costs after paying for electricity. Even more impressive, those four million all-electric miles represent a carbon footprint reduction of more than 24.3 million pounds of CO2 and 58,125 pounds of particulate matter."

Since February 2016, when the AVTA Board of Directors voted to award a contract to BYD to manufacture electric buses over a five-year period, AVTA has been on the path to pioneering battery electric bus transportation. The project, which is nearing completion, has created a smarter, greener and more interconnected transit system serving the Antelope Valley and areas extending south into the Los Angeles basin and north to Edwards Air Force Base and the Mojave Air and Space Port. By combining electric bus technology with wireless inductive charging technology, AVTA says its bus project is the first of its kind in the nation.

“AVTA operates 65 vehicles in our local fixed-route fleet, all of which are zero emission,” continued Crist. “The non-electric buses are for commuter service only and their all-electric counterparts will start arriving in June 2021, assuring a transition of our commuter fleet to all electric by next December. The majority of AVTA’s electric fleet consists of BYD electric buses, manufactured right here in the Antelope Valley. Our goal from the start was to be the first transit agency to implement electric bus technology on a broad scale, and we have met that goal.”

Also, in December, AVTA implemented local service route changes to Routes 1, 2, 3 and 52 that better utilize new charging facilities now available at the Boulevard Transit Center on Lancaster Boulevard and the South Valley Transit Center at Palmdale Boulevard and 40th Street East. Although these were minor route adjustments, these changes allow AVTA to streamline Route 1, increase vehicle efficiency, reduce bus switch-outs and incorporate the new South Valley Transit Center for inductive opportunity charging.