BYD Starts Operating Its Battery Factory in Brazil
BYD has now started operations at its battery factory in Brazil. The factory is the third factory in the country belonging to the Chinese electric vehicle giant, though this will be their first battery factory and will produce lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries primarily for electric buses.
This latest factory involved an initial investment of 2.7 USD and covers 5,000 square metres. BYD says that the plant has a production capacity of up to 18 thousand battery modules per year and even expects to deliver 1,000 battery modules this month.
BYD describes the plant as being “highly automated and robotic”. Tyler Li, responsible for BYD’s business in Brazil, says of the factory that “operation is fast and technical, as here in Manaus we have the infrastructure completely assembled and automated to deliver batteries more quickly and more safely.” He revealed that the new BYD plant is currently “producing 48 battery modules every day.”
The largest electric bus maker in the world is looking to Brazil for an expansion of its activities in South America. “With our investment, we will also be able to partner with companies interested in enhancing the electrification of their equipment,” explains Li. “Our proposal is to popularise and facilitate the electrification of mobility and equipment in the country.”
The BYD battery factory now compliments the two earlier plants in Brazil. The first of these was opened in 2015 and produces electric bus chassis and other electric vehicles including forklifts. In 2017 the Chinese vehicle maker inaugurated its second plant for photovoltaic modules. The first to benefit from BYD’s new battery plant will be the city of São José dos Campos, located in São Paulo state in the country’s south, where BYD will supply twelve 22-metre articulated buses.
With this approach of broader operations, BYD has given itself a secure foothold in South America. The company says of its approach that “The Zero Emissions Energy Ecosystem – comprising affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage, and cutting-edge electrified transportation – has made it an industry leader in the energy and transportation sectors.” Notably, BYD has focussed mainly on public transport and related infrastructure.
The electric bus giant has recently made several fairly spectacular deals in South America with what are now some of the world’s largest electric bus fleets. Late last year, Chile launched the continent’s first electric bus corridor, where a total of 285 BYD buses were already operational and further bumped this number up even higher recently when a further 150 BYD buses were delivered in June this year. In Brazil, BYD delivered 9 electric garbage trucks in October last year, and Argentina launched its first electric bus fleet with BYD buses, among many other examples on the continent. BYD says its pure electric buses, taxis and trucks are currently servicing markets in countries across the region, including Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay.
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