Two major electric bus manufacturers are responding to rising demand as BYD plans to expand its plant in Hungary extensively. The US manufacturer Proterra is one step further and has now opened a new battery production line at its plant in Los Angeles.
The information about BYD comes from the Hungarian trade news website Magyarbusz. According to the report, the Chinese manufacturer plans to increase production capacity at the Komárom plant fivefold from the current 200 to then 1,000 electric buses per year. The corresponding expansion of the plant is to begin next year and is expected to be completed in 2022.
With this investment, BYD wants to ensure that production can meet the further increase in demand for electric buses in Europe. Currently, BYD is producing the solo bus variant of its model simply called “eBus” in Komárom. Next year, production of an articulated bus variant is apparently also to start.
According to Magyarbusz, the expansion will double the number of employees to around 600. The company is said to have already acquired an area of two hectares for the expansion. BYD sees itself as one of the electric bus market leaders in Europe. With the expansion, the Chinese would be the largest bus manufacturer in Hungary – regardless of the type of drive.
Demand for electric buses is also continuing to pick up in the US. For this reason, US manufacturer Proterra has opened a new battery production line at its plant in Los Angeles County. This will produce Proterra’s battery packs using new cells from LG Energy Solution.
The facility is expected to create “dozens” of new jobs, according to Proterra. With the battery packs, Proterra hopes to enable larger capacities with higher energy density, improving vehicle range and also fast-charging capability. Up to 675 kWh batteries can be installed in the Proterra ZX5 transit bus.