Published on April 7th, 2018 | by Kyle Field0
Construction of 100,000 sq ft Expansion Starts at BYD’s California Factory
April 7th, 2018 by Kyle Field
BYD has announced yet another expansion to its Lancaster, California, electric bus and battery module factory this week. It also shared a photo of work that is already underway to level the property.
If you’re not familiar with BYD, you might be quick to dismiss the photo as just another Chinese company making bold claims about next-generation factories with costs in the billions, factories that will start production in just a few months. But BYD is quite the exception to this trend.
Stella Li, president at BYD and longtime champion of expansions into the lucrative markets of North America, hinted in September of last year that the expansion underway at the time (which was completed in October) would likely be followed with another sizable expansion.
The expansion will add 100,000 square feet (9290 square meters) to the facility when it comes online at the end of June. It will be used to store parts and components for BYD’s products, freeing up manufacturing space and allowing for better use of the space in its primary manufacturing building. Impressively, the expansion is being built without aid from any city, state, or federal incentives.
The extra space and efficiency in BYD’s primary bus factory allows for the production of another 400 of its fully electric trucks per year, which adds to the 1,500 electric buses it can already churn out each year. BYD will also bring in additional battery module manufacturing equipment to support additional vehicle production capacity.
BYD already builds several entire lines of fully electric trucks in China, ranging from street sweepers to cement trucks and refuse trucks that will compete directly with Tesla founder Ian Wright’s Wrightspeed Powertrains (used for plug-in hybrid electric refuse trucks).
In support of operations in the new building, BYD will increase staffing at the facility to help it keep pace with the increase in sales of its fully electric buses in the region. BYD expects to increase headcount from the current 750 employees up to around 1,200 as things spin up. The increase will also impact BYD’s regional headquarters in Los Angeles, which will add 10 staffers to support the expansion.
Images courtesy: BYD and Kyle Field for CleanTechnica