I’ll admit that I’m worried about the Chinese dragon overshadowing America as the manufacturing center of the world. But Balqon, a maker of all-electric heavy duty trucks and tractors, is bucking the trend and exporting powertrains to China.
It’s no secret that most American automakers did make all of their products in America. That wasn’t true so long ago, and this country used to lead the world in making things. While lately that hasn’t been so true, manufacturing, as a whole, has been expanding for 17-straight months. While China makes a lot of the stuff Americans buy, these roles could swap to our benefit relatively quickly. But we have to make what China is buying. And what is China buying? Alternative energy.
Balqon signed an agreement with Winston Global Energy to provide the company with 300 electric powertrains for buses that can carry up to 40 people. The agreement is worth about $16 million. That also creates 150 jobs in the Los Angeles area for the next 18 months to build the $53,000 a-piece powertrains. This isn’t Balqon’s first major breakthrough either, as Ford now employs 10 of their electric yard tractors on a test-lease. Detroit is showing new life and stands to take a lead in alternative vehicles, and even Obama recognized the need to build and innovate in the State of the Union address last night.
Balqon is leading the way, and hopefully they’ll be joined by some fierce competitors in the coming years. The commercial hybrid and electric vehicle market could see huge gains in the next few years as businesses realize that going green makes financial sense in the long term. If we make sure we lead the way in alternative fuels and green technology, the world will once again turn to American products and let us build more jobs for our citizens.
Source: Green Car Advisor
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.