Just 2 weeks after the announcement of an electric bus production plant investment in France, BYD officially opened its first electric bus plant in Europe’s northern Hungarian town of Komarom marking its commitment to provide sustainable urban mobility solutions in the European Union.
The New Plant
The 66,000 square meter production complex is BYD’s first production facility in Europe. The new complex consists of five buildings: a main office, a battery test and maintenance centre, an inspection line and water leak test booth, a bus and truck assembly hall and a paint shop.
The new production plant will be assembling electric buses and coaches, and in the pipeline – electric forklift trucks and light commercial vehicles.
Operating under the official name ‘BYD Electric Bus and Truck Hungary Kft’, the new production complex now employs 32 workers and the company expects to recruit additional 300 workers to ramp up the electric bus production at the assembly plant. BYD expects the assembly plant to produce up to 400 electric buses a year. These buses will be exported to customers across continental Europe.
It is planned that the Hungary plant will produce the bus chassis for the UK (for assembly into complete vehicles under the BYD ADL partnership) and the newly announced BYD factory in France.
The new electric bus production complex sees an investment by BYD that will total some €20 million in the three years to 2018.
Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe explained why BYD chose Hungary and Komarom for its new factory: “Firstly because of its central location and its long tradition of engineering excellence but also we are very conscious of the strong heritage of bus making in this immediate area. Now the Government is reinforcing that industry and we are proud to be at the forefront of that movement”
Mr Ho explained BYD was completely confident that it will need this extra bus making capacity.
“The answer is simple – air quality – or, perhaps I should say, bad air quality, something which impacts the citizens of every major city worldwide. Not a week goes past without another report linking the serious detrimental health consequences of breathing polluted air and most of that pollution comes from road vehicles, largely diesel powered.”
“City buses are not only a prime contributor to this but also, since they have totally predictable route patterns, are one of the easiest classes of vehicles to be electrified. Learning from the streets of major Chinese cities where poor air quality is not new, we are targeting our world leading battery technology on the city bus sector, although our ambitions stretch way beyond this humble type of vehicle.
“It is no coincidence therefore that BYD electric buses already make up the largest fleet of zero emission buses at a major international airport – Amsterdam’s Schiphol – and the largest fleet of electric city buses – in service on the streets of London”, said Mr Ho
“We are very pleased that BYD, a major Chinese multinational on the cutting edge of new automotive technology, has chosen Hungary as the location for its first fully-owned bus plant in Europe, which will eventually employ 300 people,” Mr Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said. “This investment demonstrates Hungary’s success in attracting both industrial investment and innovation, and the international competitiveness of its auto sector.”