|BYD K9-modeled zero emission electric bus manufactured in the US. (Photo/People’s Daily)|
On April 28 2014 Chinese auto maker BYD delivered its first US-made zero emission electric buses to Lancaster city in the Antelope Valley of Southern California.
Norm Hickling, Chairman of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) Board of Directors announced that AVTA has purchased two BYD electric buses and will bring them into service this August.
"We have a strong commitment to working for the good of this community by moving away from diesel and gas powered buses and into electric buses," said Hickling.
"We have 73 buses right now operating throughout the Antelope Valley, and we want to start replacing those with electric buses," he added. "Hopefully we'll be able to buy another dozen or so (BYD buses) in the next couple of years.".
BYD opened its first electric bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster last May, marking the first exclusively Chinese-owned auto manufacturing factory in America.
According to Michael Austin, vice CEO of the factory, the buses delivered on Monday are entirely US-produced, with all the manufacturing and testing processes taking place in the factory and accessories such as chairs and air-conditioners being purchased from the US Mainland.
"It's a small beginning, just a few buses. But like many things, it holds promise as something very big and very important," said California Governor Jerry Brown, who was present at the delivery ceremony.
According to Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris, the story of partnership between China's largest automotive company and a city in the United States is of extraordinary significance and will bring thousands of employment opportunities to the city in the long run.
"'Going global' is part of the international strategy for the Chinese auto industry," says Yang Shimin, President of the Automotive Industry Committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
"Over the last few years, an increasing number of Chinese companies have invested resources, set up factories overseas, and localized their competitive technologies and products. This brings capital as well as jobs to the local region, and helps to upgrade their traditional industry with green and environmental friendly products," said Yang.