The Chinese automotive company BYD is planning to launch a second electric bus production facility in India through its joint venture in the country.
Olectra-BYD, the joint venture between BYD Auto and India’s Olectra Greentech, has announced plans to set up its second factory to manufacture electric buses. The factory is expected to be located in north India, however, the company has not mentioned the exact location of the planned facility.
The company plans to set up the greenfield plant by 2021. The plant has been proposed after discussions with the government of state of Karnataka about a similar plant ended unsuccessfully. The company currently operates just one production facility in the state of Telangana from where it has supplied more than 100 electric buses in various parts of the country, the first company in India to do so.
The announcement to set up a second production facility comes just days after the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) to invite proposals from states, government departments, transportation departments, and municipal bodies for the procurement of 5,000 electric buses across 40 cities. Participating cities shall receive subsidies worth US$360 million to procure these buses.
Olectra-BYD plans to supply 500 electric buses between April 2019 and March 2020. The company aims to achieve the sale of 2,000 by March 2021. The company is optimistic about electric bus business in India due to the rapidly increasing number of orders and tenders from cities across the country.
Olectra-BYD itself has supplied a total of 108 electric buses so far to the states of Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Telangana. The buses are being used for inter-city transport as they have a range of up to 300 kilometers on a single charge.
Other bus manufacturers, which have so far dominated in the ICE-powered segment, have also emerged as tough competitors to Olectra-BYD. Tata Motors has secured orders to supply 225 electric buses from cities in the states of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, and Rajasthan. Orders and tenders to procure more electric or hybrid buses are expected from the cities of Delhi, Bengaluru and the state of Andhra Pradesh.
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