The Chinese automobile company, BYD opened an electric bus factory in 70 miles North of Los Angeles in Lancaster, California. The plant has the capacity to produce 1,000 buses annually, but expects to produce 50 units in the first year. So far, BYD has a contract with Long Beach Transit for 10 ebuses.
“The is the first time a Chinese bus company is opening a manufacturing plant in the U.S. and the first North and South America plant for BYD,” said Stella Li, the senior vice president of BYD.
How much of a vehicle that is “Made in the USA” actually made in the USA? “Made in the USA” means assembled in the USA, but every single part could have come from another country. The manufacturers of almost all appliances, electronics, and automobiles do not build most of their parts themselves. They purchase them from external manufacturers, and they are actually usually outside of the country.
Examples of parts not usually built by car “manufacturers” include tyres, Engine Control Units (ECU), stereos, speakers, transistors, capacitors, diodes, inductors, LEDs, CPUs (computer processors) integrated circuits, light bulbs, batteries, and more. Still, jobs are jobs, and electric buses could soon become a major part of public transit fleets across the country. With BYD’s recent decision to go all-in with green cars, opening a factory in America is a bold, but ultimately necessary move.
The 10 buses ordered by Long Beach Transit are to commence service in 2014.