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First All-Electric Buses Unveiled In Lancaster

LANCASTER (CBS/AP) — A Chinese-owned company has rolled out its first all-electric buses made entirely in California.

Gov. Jerry Brown was on hand Monday as two 40-foot buses were unveiled at the BYD Motors factory in Lancaster.

"Thank you, BYD. Let's build all of our dreams," Brown said. "The only way we're going to reduce our dependency on oil and make our air even more healthful and deal with climate change is to shift to electric vehicles using batteries and powered by the sun itself. This is the great dream."

The buses are capable of traveling 155 miles, or up to 24 hours, between charges with a full load of passengers. They are destined for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.

The factory, which has about 60 employees, hopes to increase its workforce and have the capacity to produce 1,000 buses a year within two decades.

"Every time I go home, I feel proud of what I do," a newly hired employee said.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is set to buy five of the buses. If it works out, it will purchase another 20 more.

California has been courting Chinese business and jobs while BYD has been eyeing the U.S. market.

BYD, the largest domestic automaker in China, also has a North American headquarters in Los Angeles and an energy module assembly plant in Lancaster.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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