Chinese carmaker BYD announced Tuesday that it would expand its electric vehicle plant in the U.S. city of Lancaster in southern California, tripling the size of its facility, employment and production capability in next three years.
Stella Li, president of BYD America, said at a groundbreaking ceremony that the world's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles would continue to invest in Lancaster and provide more development opportunities for local residents.
BYD, which stands for "Build Your Dreams", is also the world's largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries. Based on its fire-safe, fully recyclable and long cycle battery technology, the company has expanded into other businesses, including automobiles, buses, trucks, utility vehicles and energy storage facilities.
"We are proud to produce efficient, reliable electric trucks and buses in Califonia that help boost the local economy with well-paid manufacturing and engineering jobs," Li said, after recalling why the company had decided to set up the factory in the city of Lancaster, a community of more than 156,000 inhabitants since 2013.
Lancaster boasts more than 350 days of sunshine per year, making it the ideal place to pioneer new solar energy technologies.
Li also emphasized the support that local government and skilful American engineers had given the company.
The BYD's coach and bus vehicle plant in Lancaster, which covers eight thousands square meters and is able to deliver three hundred zero-emission vehicles every year, has already employed more than three hundreds people for production and customer service.
According to the new plan, the facility will expand to 37 thousand square meters, tripling the number of its employees to one thousand and its assembling capability to one thousand vehicle per year.
"Through our growing partnership with BYD, the local economy has already realized a significant boost," said Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris, "in addition, reaching Zero Net Energy status is at the forefront of our city, and BYD is helping us achieve this vision faster."
The Shenzhen-based company has more than 160,000 employees globally and a regional headquarters in Los Angeles.
The company's electric bus, supported by its solar panels, LED lighting and energy-efficient technologies, is able to run over 248 kilometers after a single charge, which is among the longest in the world.