New green jobs could be coming to American shores soon, courtesy of a Chinese auto manufacturer looking to produce electric buses to meet the growing EV needs of mass transit fleets.
A senior vice president at BYD, according to China Daily, was recently quoted as saying plans are in the works for a new electric vehicle plant in California which would build up to 100 vehicles in 2014, followed the next year by 500. As for what build here actually means according to BYD, it was noted that “some of the parts and production lines used there will come from China,” but that also “managerial and other positions at the plant will be filled with local residents.”
The presence of a new BYD electric bus plant here in the United States isn’t the first time the company has established an American foothold – it already, for example, has a North American headquarters set up in Los Angeles. While it is not clear at this point if the proposed plant would be nearby or not, we should know by March or April where specifically it will be dropped in.
BYD will be working on at this plant its K9 electric bus. This bus, first unveiled in early 2011, is able to run 155 miles on a single charge in urban settings, according to its maker. The energy consumed by it is less than 100 kWh per 60 miles, and it can be fully recharged in three hours. And, as a bonus, solar panels on the top of the bus act as a supplemental energy source.
Plans call for the buses to first be made use of in different locations in California, including the Apple campus in Cupertino. BYD’s electric buses have already seen use around the world, including at Los Angeles International Airport, parts of China and Canada.
In addition to the Untied States, BYD also unveiled recently a new electric bus joint venture in Europe that will bring manufacturing in perhaps a similar fashion to its American plans to Bulgaria as part of a roll out across that continent.