BYD will begin operating an electric bus manufacturing facility and a Li-ion battery manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California, in the coming months. These mark the first manufacturing facilities in the United States for BYD Motors Inc, a Los Angeles-based subsidiary of the China-based BYD Company Ltd.
In April, BYD was awarded a $12.1-million contract with Long Beach Transit Authority to produce 10 zero-emissions, all-electric buses. The company says that its electric buses deliver a range of more 155 miles on a single charge.
BYD has purchased the former Rexhall Industries recreational vehicle manufacturing facility in Lancaster to house its electric bus manufacturing operations, as a decrease in demand for RVs has led to excess capacity at the plant. Rexhall Industries will combine its manufacturing operations with its sales facility, while President and Chief Executive Officer of Rexhall Industries, William Rex, will stay on as General Manager for BYD Coach & Bus LLC. A number of current Rexhall employees will also stay on as the plant transitions to BYD ownership.
Electric buses for the Netherlands. Separately, BYD officially delivered 6 electric buses to the island home of city of Schiermonnikoog, and the Netherlands’ first National Park in the province of Friesland, Netherlands. The 6 vehicles will be operated by Arriva.
The vehicles were awarded last June 2012 in Europe’s first publicly tendered order for electric-powered full size buses and are planned to provide visitors and residents with an environmentally-friendly public transport system for the next 15 years.
BYD’s electric bus is a full-size, 12-meter (40 foot) transit bus powered entirely by the company’s advanced Lithium iron phosphate batteries. The BYD buses are comparable to the buses now servicing Schiermonnikoog in terms of size and can accommodate 60-70 passengers. However, the BYD electric bus can be charged at night and with a range of over 250 km per charge (>155 miles), they can provide service all day without needing another charge.