The China-based electric bus and passenger vehicle manufacturer BYD will be opening a new small-scale electric bus manufacturing plant in Komarom, Hungary, according to recent reports.
Production at the new facility is expected to begin in early 2017 — with initial production quantities being 200 units a year. Plans are to eventually double production to 400 units a year.
While those numbers aren’t particularly aggressive (around 25,000 buses were sold in Europe in 2015), the move by BYD is an important one. The new €20 million investment into the Komarom plant is the first such investment by a China-based electric bus firm into Europe.
With great potential in the European market, BYD could leverage this entry into the market at some later point for rapid growth.
Here’s more (as translated by an online program from manager magazin): “The company is building a bus factory in Komarom, a 20,000-soul town in the north of the country. … What makes things more exciting is the fact that it is about electric buses, and it is the first such investment of a Chinese company in Europe, as reported by the state news agency Xinhua. This would allow the factory to develop a development which has hitherto taken place in the minds of company consultants — the global advance of Chinese car manufacturers thanks to the electric car technology.”
Notably, the electric bus sector is growing at a vastly faster rate in China than in Europe (see the stunning chart here) — which makes BYD’s interest in the market significant. While the Chinese market is rather crowded, with a number of firms producing electric buses in large quantities, the European electric bus market is comparatively undeveloped — meaning that the company has the chance to be at the forefront of an emerging market, and to potentially capture a large market share.