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Electric Bus Coming to Yakima


Bus riders in Yakima have a unique opportunity this month as 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 is $800,000 compared to the cost of a regular bus which is $400,000.

Mehin did say that he heard that in 12 years, the electric bus pays for itself.

“We use our busses for 14-18 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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