Holiday travel is a lot greener this season at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) with the addition of two BYD zero-emission buses.
The two green technology, battery-electric K9M 40-foot buses are part of the airport’s fleet of “terminal-toterminal” shuttles used to transport passengers between the international and domestic terminals, and from the international terminal to the Rental Car Center.
ATL is looking at more ways to incorporate sustainability through its GreeningATL program. Efforts include electrifying its fleet, providing electric vehicle charging stations for passengers as well as improving water efficiency in the terminals, and recently achieving the USGBC’s LEED for Communities Certification.
BYD’s K9M buses fit perfectly with the airport’s GreeningATL plan, bringing innovation, cutting-edge technologies and a common-sense approach to sustainability. The vehicles carry 22 passengers and luggage compared to the previous vehicles they replaced, which only carried 14 passengers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s website states that every zero-emission bus eliminates approximately 1,690 tons of Co2 over 12 years, the lifetime of a transit bus. This is equivalent to taking 27 cars off the road. These buses also eliminate approximately 10 tons of nitrogen oxides and 350 pounds of diesel particulate matter.
Atlanta is one of three airports to purchase BYD buses and has reduced its emissions by 70 metric tons since the launch of its two buses. Kansas City International Airport has four 30- foot BYD battery-electric K7s, and BYD’s largest airport customer to date, Los Angeles World Airports, has ordered 20 of BYD’s 60-foot articulated K11Ms.
The K9M has a range of up to 150 miles and charge in two to three hours. The buses were built at BYD’s Coach & Bus factory in Lancaster, Calif. BYD’s zero-emission buses not only meet but also exceed Federal Transit Administration “Buy America” requirements, incorporating more than 70% U.S. content. BYD is the first battery-electric bus manufacturer that has both a unionized workforce and a Community Benefits Agreement, which sets goals for hiring veterans, single parents, second-chance citizens, and others facing hurdles in obtaining manufacturing employment.