Early in September, a new bus route opened in Indianapolis. The Red Line is running thirteen BYD K11 buses. Indygo, the municipal transportation organization, has already ordered eighteen more BYD buses to be delivered by the end of the year. The BYD K11 series bus is a very large “ebus” (electric bus). It is articulated, and it carries up to 120 passengers.
The buses ordered by Indygo are being made in an American factory. BYD is a Chinese company, but its largest shareholder is an American company, Berkshire Hathaway. It is the largest manufacture of electric vehicles in the world, with products ranging from bicycles to large trucks and mining equipment. Like Tesla, it also produces batteries for vehicles and grid power storage.
Indianapolis plans to replace all of its diesel transit buses with electric buses. The life expectancy of a transit bus is about twelve years, and it plans to run its diesels until the ends of their useful lifetimes, so it should have its fleet entirely replaced by 2032.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a diesel bus emits about ten tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 350 pounds of particulates, and 1,690 tons of CO₂ over its lifetime.