BYD, a Chinese green energy firm, has announced during the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico that they will be opening an electric bus manufacturing plant in Cape Town in 2018. Mayor Patricia de Lille believe that this is an investment which will definitely boost the city’s economy, as well as create hundreds of jobs.
Earlier this year, there was a bidding process for the contract of Cape Town’s first fleet of electric buses. After the competitive bidding, the city awarded it to BYD. De Lille says that there are a lot of exciting conditions in the contract. One of which is that the buses will be partly assembled in Cape Town. However, BYD will still source some components from local suppliers. Because of this, there will be many jobs available. It will also be the first time that electric buses will be assembled in Cape Town. This makes Cape Town the first city in Africa to use electric buses for the MyCiTi public transport system. In addition, the factory will serve as BYD’s first electric bus manufacturing plant in Africa.
“As a progressive city committed to enhancing our climate change action projects, this is a major step on our journey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the green economy.”
“The acquisition of electric buses will also help us save money as it comes with reduced maintenance and operating costs.”
Wang Chuanfu, the founder of BYD, shared that the company is really glad to collaborate with Cape Town. He mentioned that it is a leading city in their climate action efforts. Mr. Wang further explained that they are planning to establish a local production plant for their electric buses in the city in the future. Of course, this will also provide jobs to the people, as well as to help protect the environment.
The plant will cater to the manufacturing of various BYD products. These will include electric buses, renewable energy products like solar panels, and sky-rails.
“This is precisely the kind of investment we want to attract and has been part of our strategy since 2012 to engage with the international community to promote Cape Town as an ideal place to invest in and to let the world know that Cape Town is open for business so that we can create much-needed jobs for our people,” says De Lille. “I welcome this announcement by Mr Wang as it will contribute greatly to our efforts to build an inclusive economy,”