The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority voted 9-5 Wednesday to buy two electric buses.
The cost of the new vehicles comes in at about $2.2 million, with each bus costing $840,000 and the charging equipment and infrastructure making up the rest of the outlay, though the contract allows the PSTA to order up to 20 more buses if funds become available.
Los Angeles-based manufacturer BYD, which bills itself as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, won out against bids from fellow manufacturers New Flyer and Proterra.
The battery-powered, zero-emission buses measure in at 35 feet long and have a range of 160 miles on a full charge. The buses would also be the first fully electric buses in Pinellas County.
The decision to purchase the buses dates back to June, when PSTA voted to approve a pilot program if Pinellas County would chip in $589,000 for charging station infrastructure from its BP settlement funds. The county agreed to the deal in December.
The new buses are expected to be delivered in early 2018.