Chinese electric vehicle giant, BYD, has announced its first European factory, which will be built in the town of Allonne, near Beauvais, in Northern France.
The company will be investing €10 million into the site, which will initially build up to 200 vehicles a year – all single deck buses or coaches.
Around 100 jobs will be created, with the 32,000m2 facility due to begin building the buses in the first half of 2018. Other types of vehicles may be added as BYD expands its product line in Europe. In its domestic market, it also sells electric trucks, municipal vehicles and double deckers, while a number of buses with BYD powertrains are constructed in the UK by Alexander Dennis Ltd and used on a number of routes in London.
In addition to bus assembly, BYD plans an aftersales unit for maintenance and repairs, as well as a logistics centre for spare parts distribution. In the longer term, a test centre for batteries could be added.
Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, said, “We chose France because it has Europe’s largest bus market. And we selected Beauvais and the Hauts-de-France region because of the quality of the building proposed to us, the region’s ideal location, and the proactive approach of local and regional authorities.”