Photo courtesy of BYD Motors.

Photo courtesy of BYD Motors.

The Long Beach Transit (LBT) board of directors has awarded an $11.07 million contract to Los Angeles-based company BYD Motors, Inc., for the purchase of 10 battery-electric buses and supporting charging systems, the Long Beach, Calif.-based transit agency announced.

The contract with BYD includes training and required equipment in support of the purchase.

Funding for the electric bus purchase came from a combination of federal, state, and local funding that includes $6.7 million from a Federal Transit Administration grant and $700,000 from a Port of Long Beach grant, according to LBT spokesperson Kevin Lee.

Although these will be the first battery-electric vehicles in LBT’s fleet, over two-thirds of the transit agency's veh fleet is comprised of compressed natural gas (CNG) or hybrid buses, and LBT’s fleet is expected to be at least 90-percent alternatively fueled within the next decade, Lee added.

LBT plans to launch these initial battery electric buses in downtown Long Beach in the fall of 2016. Future expansion will be considered, as LBT has an option to purchase 14 more of the buses at a later date with board approval, the transit agency said.