Source: Tampa Bay Reporter
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board voted 9-5 to buy two electric buses – the first in the county.
The buses are set to make their debut in St. Petersburg. It’s unclear when that might happen. A charging station, which Pinellas County will pay for with some BP settlement funds, will have to be installed before the buses are ordered.
The buses will come from Los Angeles-based BYD Motors, which says it is the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer in both consumer electric and commercial/industrial vehicles. The 35-foot-long buses are battery-powered, zero-emission buses. Officials said the buses are expected to have a best range of 160 miles on a full charge. The batteries are warrantied for 12 months and BYD will provide operator training and maintenance. The cost for the two, including charging equipment, is not to exceed $2.2 million. And the contract allows the PSTA to order up to 20 additional electric buses, subject to funding availability.
The county has set aside $589,000 for the charging station, although officials want St. Petersburg to kick in some funds.