China-based EV maker BYD has had its ups and downs lately, as it negotiates deals to provide electric buses to several California transit authorities. Meanwhile, as various North American cities are testing 10 buses here, 25 there, the Chinese city of Hangzhou has just placed an order for 2,000.
Like many parts of China, the historic city of Hangzhou is facing badly deteriorating air quality. The city government is tackling the problem by adopting a zero-emission public transport policy. Mayor Hongming Zhang signed an order this week for 2,000 long-range battery-electric transit buses and 1,000 pure-electric taxis. BYD plans to deliver the first 1,000 buses and 500 eTaxis by the end of 2014.
Hangzhou is the home of Alibaba, one of China’s most successful high-tech companies. “Today the electric vehicle market is growing and EV technologies have matured to the point where every city transit should be adopting them. The turning point of new energy is now, and we want to see BYD grow the same way we saw Jack Ma’s Alibaba grow years ago,” said Secretary Gong Zheng of Hangzhou’s Municipal Committee.
“Hangzhou is a beautiful place with a rich history and culture, as well as a great environment for investment. BYD is excited to bring our world-leading electric transportation technologies to Hangzhou and witness the vision and dreams of this leadership team come to pass,” said BYD founder and Chairman Wang Chuanfu.
“There is simply no other company that manufactures and delivers fleets of electric cars and electric buses by the thousands! The R&D expertise, manufacturing scale and component spend leverage BYD is gaining from building and delivering these fleets has put us years ahead of any possible competitor,” said BYD America VP Micheal Austin.