The Metro Orange Line in Los Angeles recently had the opportunity to test drive the first-ever electric-articulated, zero-emissions bus in America, possibly in the world. The “Lancaster” eBus was named after the city in California where it was designed and manufactured for over two years.
Being hailed as 60 feet of “transportation history,” the Lancaster’s accordion-like design is what sets it apart from other electric buses, notes the Los Angeles Times. It runs on eight lithium iron phosphate battery modules, four to a side, that provide enough charge for it to drive more than 170 miles. And it can hold up to 120 passengers.
Gary Spivack, Metro’s division transportation manager, deemed last week’s test drive a success. However, he told the Times that range is a major component and that Metro requires about 250 miles of drive per day.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has submitted an order for 25 40-foot electric buses from BYD Motors Inc., which is the company that manufactures the Lancaster, notes the Times. However, it has not ordered the articulated electric one. It is scheduled to be shown and test-driven in several U.S. cities, including San Antonio, Pomona, and various cities in Washington state.
At $1.2 million, the electric-articulated bus comes at a slightly higher price tag than the natural-gas-articulated bus which sells for $800,000, the Times reports. The lithium batteries reportedly have a life cycle of 27 years–double the span of an ordinary bus.
Charging, which can be completed within two hours, will likely be done at night during off-peak hours.
Adelle Nazarian is on Twitter @AdelleNaz.