BYD Co., the biggest Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer, also famous for being backed including by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment fund of Warren Buffet, is planning o increase British electric bus production.
The automaker, according to a source that has knowledge of the proceeds, would expand UK-based production of electric buses to around 200 units annually and is also trying to secure an investment plan to set up a new assembly facility in Europe to cope with increasing sales. BYD’s continental ambitions have grown after reaching a deal this July wit U.K.-based Alexander Dennis Ltd. to manufacture 51 electric buses that would then be used in London. The two partners would now also announce the increased production figures as soon as next week, added the person, who declined to reveal his identity because the matter has not been made public yet. BYD, a maker of electric autos in its home country, has been expanding its green strategy after the Chinese government has renewed its support for new-energy vehicles (plug in hybrids, electrics) in order to shed reliance on fossil fuels and bog down pollution in major cities.
The company also builds electric buses in the US and is now evaluating different European countries outside the UK for a new plant that would assist its exports and logistics drive, according to the source. The plant could be owned entirely by the company or set up through a local partnership. The expansion strategy is part of BYD’s desire to grow its presence outside China, after evolving into a large-spectrum green manufacturer from its origins as a battery manufacturer for use in mobile phones.