BYD starts building EV factory in Brazil

The Chinese company wants to build a total of three production facilities on a former Ford industrial site in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The first vehicles could roll off the production line there as early as between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025.

Image: BYD

BYD has officially started construction of its new production facilities in Brazil. On a former Ford industrial site in the Brazilian state of Bahia, BYD is reportedly building a plant for electric and hybrid cars, one for chassis for e-buses and trucks, and a third to process lithium and iron phosphate for the international market.

The car plant is expected to start production between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025, slightly later than previously announced, according to a new announcement by the Bahia government. An annual production capacity of 150,000 electric and hybrid cars is initially planned, which can later be doubled to 300,000 vehicles.

BYD is investing three billion Brazilian reals, the equivalent of around 570 million euros, in the conversion of the site in the Camaçari industrial park in the Brazilian state of Bahia. According to the local government, the construction will immediately create 5,000 jobs. In return, the government of the state of Bahia will grant the Chinese company tax breaks over the next ten years.

In addition to Bahia’s Governor Jerônimo Rodrigues, Brazilian Vice President Geraldo Alckmin also attended the ceremony to mark the start of construction. He emphasised that BYD is investing in the region at an opportune time, as the unemployment rate there is the lowest in the country at 7.8 per cent.

In addition to the factories, BYD will set up a research and development centre in the region to turn it into a technology hub. According to local media, one of the main goals of the centre is to develop technologies for a flex-hybrid engine that can combine ethanol with electric drives.

For BYD, the facilities in Bahia are not the first production sites in Brazil. The company already manufactures electric bus chassis in Campinas in the Brazilian state of São Paulo and operates a lithium iron phosphate battery assembly plant in Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. BYD is also reportedly planning to build a battery materials factory in Chile.

Other carmakers are also flirting with production in Brazil, such as Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor (GWM), which plans to open a plant in the Brazilian state of São Paulo next year that will produce only electrified vehicles. Volkswagen also announced an investment of one billion euros by 2026 for a product offensive in South America – especially in Brazil. (in Portuguese)


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