BYD bills itself as the undisputed leader in American electric-battery buses, its Build Your Dreams moniker evoking images of sleek, futuristic vehicles transporting the masses in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
That might play on the brochures, but on the ground in Albuquerque a more fitting name for the company might be Build Your Nightmares – buses it built for the Duke City experienced brake failures and doors opening during operation.
BYD is the Chinese manufacturer behind the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project’s ill-fated electric bus fleet. The buses are manufactured at the company’s California-based North America plant. Former Mayor Richard Berry’s ART project was supposed to transform Central Avenue into a rapid transit corridor with a nine-mile stretch of bus-only lanes and median bus stations.
Instead, Mayor Tim Keller inherited a B-horror movie, with buses that appear to be unsafe “at any speed.”