BYD, the world’s largest electric bus manufacturer and the leading electric carmaker in China, will build 27 battery-electric trucks under a $9 million California grant.

The electric trucks will replace diesel service trucks and yard tractors in the communities of Commerce, Fontana and San Bernadino.

The funds are for 23 class-8 yard trucks and four class-5 service vehicles.

Class-8 yard trucks, also known as “yard goats,” are 80,000-pound vehicles used to move heavy freight containers short distances within freight yards warehouses and distribution centers.

BNSF Railway will operate the class-5 16,100-pound medium-duty service trucks at two of its intermodal rail yards.

BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” will design and build the trucks at its facility in Lancaster, CA, which was initially established to produce electric buses.

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Stella Li, president of BYD Motors, said vehicle electrification “can be applied today to a variety of needs — not just passenger vehicles.”

“By deploying these trucks in 24/7 operations, this project will prove that truck electrification can be adopted at any major freight location and scaled for any facility and business need in the U.S.”

The state figures the two-year project will result in overall reductions of 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide, 3,250 pounds of nitrogen oxide and 170 pounds of diesel soot (PM10).

Freight transport accounts for about half of all toxic diesel particulate matter and six percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The BYD grant was awarded by CARB through its California Climate Investments Program.

Funds are provided by the state’s cap-and-trade system for auctioning greenhouse gas emissions credits.

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