Electric busmaker Eurabus has opened their factory in Kazakhstan as planned. The Berlin-based company wants to assemble their first 100 modular e-buses there within this year before ramping up to 500 units in 2019. Most will sell locally.
While Kazakhstan may not appear the first point of call for production, Eurabus’ decision to set up shop there has a wider angle. The town of Almaty will be their first large customer as they plan to run an all-electric fleet as strong as 500 buses.
At the factory opening the Kazakh President Nursultan Nasarbajew made an appearance alongside the major of Almaty, Bauyrzhan Baibek. For the region the factory means around 400 new jobs and Eurabus has invested a total of 44 million dollars.
During the party, Eurabus handed over the first ten electric buses and another hundred are set to be made in Almaty before the year’s end.
Eurabus works with a modular system called SDK, a construction kit that allows them to assemble their Eurabus 3.0 model fairly easily and to scale up as well. CEO Christian Seitz wants to localise the supply chain further in future, which at the moment is at 35 percent he said, with most parts coming from Germany.
Yet, Eurabus is planning to expand their business model of local assembly and sales and said they want to set up more facilities in both Western and Eastern Europe as well as in the Caucasus region.
Apart from ramping electric bus production, Eurabus recently announced its plan to sell its battery system as a stand-alone product for electric-powered buses or utility vehicles. The company is also working on a plug & play high-voltage drivetrain platform reportedly.
The batteries for the electric vehicles of the Berlin-based busmaker will be supplied by German BMZ. In late 2017, Eurabus and BMZ signed a long-term agreement which includes the supply of more than 1,000 battery systems for electric buses within the next two to three years.
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