Production capacity raised to 1,500 e-buses per year, as well as medium and heavy duty e-trucks
The battle for electric buses heats up in the US as Chinese EV giant BYD expands its presence in the US. On October 6 BYD Coach & Bus opened what it says is the largest battery-electric bus factory in the country, near Lancaster, California. The opening ceremony was attended by a group of bipartisan officials, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The expansion adds a new wing to the current BYD Coach and Bus space, bringing the total manufacturing facility to nearly 450,000 sq. ft – quadruple the floorplan of the site’s initial footprint upon opening in 2013.
The addition will allow Shenzhen-headquartered BYD to build up to 1,500 battery-electric buses annually, it said. It will also see a new hires of up to 1,200 full-time workers.
BYD is currently producing an additional 300 buses based on current customer orders and has options for more than 300 additional electric bus purchases.
The facility also supports R&D and assembly for the company’s battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including delivery, drayage, refuse, and yard trucks, among other product lines. By the end of 2017, BYD will have delivered 70 all-electric trucks to 15 customers in North America, with orders for more than 140 trucks received to-date.
California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon remarked: “California’s progressive leadership on strong air quality policies is helping drive this economic growth by creating demand for zero-emission buses and trucks. California and the rest of the nation needs more companies like BYD that take opportunities presented by policy and turn it in to job creation.”
The expansion follows hot on the heels of US electric bus pioneer Proterra, which in August opened a 100,000 square-foot facility in the San Gabriel Valley, withe the capacity to make 400 buses annually.