BYD plans to expand in the US by manufacturing electric buses in California.
BYD, the Chinese car maker partially owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, will open on May 1st, its plant in Lancaster, California, where it will assemble electric buses, according to Marketing Director Sherry Li. BYD’s electric bus, dubbed K9, is 12-meter (39-foot) long and can reach 155 miles (249 kilometers) on a single charge. The automaker hopes that this move will improve its image in the world’s largest economy, where BYD has seen three years of declines.
BYD relies on public transportation to increase its EV business, focusing mainly on China. Last year the automaker had 200 K9s and 800 e6 electric taxis on the roads of Shenzhen. Currently the K9 and e6 models are in trial operations in Baoji, Shaoguan, Xi’an and Changsha, part of the company’s target to spread the vehicles nationwide.
The vehicles are also in running trials in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain and the US, and the company has won orders from Canada, Columbia, Uruguay, Israel and the Netherlands. At the beginning of this year BYD has received approval to sell its electric buses in the EU countries without any restrictions.