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BYD to expand e-bus manufacturing in India, open bookings for electric MPVs

Company is planning to sell 10,000 electric MPVs

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

BYD E6 electric taxis
Drivers stand next to BYD E6 electric taxis being charged at a charging station in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China. Taiyuan became the first city to replace its entire fleet of taxis with electric vehicles | Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese auto and electronics major BYD is planning to double its bus manufacturing capacity in India and will open bookings for its electric multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) product — T3 — soon, to tap the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market.

Last week, BYD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government to invest Rs 2,800 crore in manufacturing components for mobile phones. On the auto sector, the company plans to increase its output capacity for electric buses to 5,000 every year from 2,000 now, said Ketsu Zhang, executive director, BYD India. In India, BYD has partnered Hyderabad-based Olectra for manufacturing and supplying electric buses.

BYD’s factory near Chennai also manufactures electric buses and its production caters to domestic and overseas markets.

Currently, BYD makes electric buses locally, the K7, a 9 meter long e Bus and K9, a 12 meter e-Bus, which are both capable of driving 250 km on a single charge. So far, BYD has more than 200 battery-run electric buses running on road commercially in India.

The buses are running in Bengaluru, Rajkot, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa, Kochi, Chandigarh, Vijayawada, Manali, Mumbai, Surat, and other cities. Zhang said BYD would be introducing pure electric MPV product, T3, which would be open for orders soon. The promotion of the series is in line with the company’s strategy of ‘Public Transportation Electrification’ and ‘7+4 Full Market Strategy’.

“The BYD ‘7+4 Full Market EV Strategy’ encompasses most forms of ground transportation as well as every aspect of daily transportation needs. It comprises seven conventional types of transportation (passenger vehicles, taxis, buses, coaches, urban logistics vehicles, urban construction vehicles, and urban sanitation vehicles) and four specialised types of transportation (vehicles for mining, ports, airports, and warehousing). Our ambition is to introduce the complete ‘7+4’ solution into the Indian market,” said Zhang.

Currently, the firm got orders for more than 200 units of T3 targeting to sell 10,000 units within the next 2 to 3 years.

BYD India was established in March 2007 in Chennai and set up an office in New Delhi. It has two factories covering more than 140,000 square meters, with a cumulative investment of almost $ 150 million.

BYD’s business covers mobile components, solar panels, battery energy storage electric buses, electric trucks, electric forklifts, chargers, rail transit, etc., provides customers with product solutions and related after sales services.

In the next phase, BYD is looking to give more importance to selling material handling equipment, which uses lithium iron phosphate battery; energy storage system as well as BYD’s straddle monorail system SkyRail and BYD’s rubber-tyred tram-train system SkyShuttle, Zhang added.

First Published: Sun, December 08 2019. 15:01 IST