Yakima Gets to Try Out Electric Bus During the Month of May - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Gets to Try Out Electric Bus During the Month of May

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Bus riders in Yakima have a unique opportunity this month. A Chinese company has loaned a battery-powered bus for drivers and riders to test out. Bus riders in Yakima have a unique opportunity this month. A Chinese company has loaned a battery-powered bus for drivers and riders to test out.
YAKIMA, WA - Bus riders in Yakima have a unique opportunity this month. A Chinese company has loaned a battery-powered bus for drivers and riders to test out.

Yakima Transit Manager, Ken Mehin, said the introduction of this electric bus is just the start, and low to zero emission busses are the way of the future.

The 40 passenger-seat bus is on loan from BYD Motors, a Chinese Company that is hoping to expand into the United States.

The transit manager said low operating costs and zero emissions are a huge draw, but the electric bus is very expensive. It's $800,000. This compared to the cost of a regular bus, which is $400,000.

However, Mehin said he heard that in 12 years, the electric bus pays for itself.

"We use our busses for 418 years," said Mehin. "Some agencies use them up to 18 years, each bus."

During the month-long evaluation, the all-electric bus will be running each day on a different Yakima transit bus route.

Mehin said so far the response from riders and drivers has been very positive.
     
Yakima is the third stop for the battery-powered bus demonstration project in the state.
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