The Antelope Valley Transit Authority says it will have the first entirely electric public bus system in the nation in two years.
It's replacing diesel buses with an entire fleet of electric commuter and transit buses.
Transit officials on Thursday announced the board had approved a contract with BYD Motors to manufacture up to 85 electric buses over the next five years.
The transit authority says its studies show electric buses save $46,000 per bus per year in operational expenses.
"One diesel bus driving on the road usually operates 15 to 18 hours. And that is equivalent to 33 passenger cars operating in emissions," said BYD's Michael Austin.
Among the benefits of switching to electric touted by the agency are a 50 percent reduction in noise pollution, safer work conditions for technicians and an elimination of carbon dioxide and other emissions.
The agency hopes to get the first 29 electric buses within the first year. It's still working on a grant from the Air Resources Board to buy another 17 buses.