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Los Angeles has become the Detroit of electric buses

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There's a highly-charged competition going on in Los Angeles right now. And it's between manufacturers of electric buses.

Transit agencies around the country are going electric. And here in LA, Metro has a goal of converting its bus fleet to 100 percent electric by 2030. The agency says it will spend around a hundred million dollars a year in contracts.

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A Foothill Transit electric bus under repair at
Proterra's facility in City of Industry
Photo by Avishay Artsy

So under our noses a new industry is growing. There are at least ten companies in the Southland that are making and selling battery electric buses. The biggest is the Chinese-owned company BYD, which has a factory in Lancaster, employing over 500 people. There's Ebus in Downey. Proterra, in City of Industry, likens itself to the Tesla of electric buses.

But is it possible the capital of car culture is advancing the art of the humble bus -- even as Metro currently grapples with a fall in bus ridership?

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Paul Mottram, plant manager, and T.J. Nass, customer program manager
at Proterra in City of Industry
Photo by Avishay Artsy