BYD opens US headquarters and unveils electric bus

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Mayor Xu Qin and his delegation from the Shenzhen province headquarters in China of Build Your Dreams (BYD) arrived in style in the company’s new electric bus, the eBUS, to the opening ceremony of its North American headquarters in Los Angeles, US. The eBUS was created in partnership with Hertz for use at Los Angeles International Airport.

“The BYD all electric bus not only knocks down emissions dramatically, but it also results in an estimated saving of up to US$500,000 over the lifetime of each vehicle,” said Richard Broome, senior VP of corporate affairs and communications for the Hertz Corporation.

A manufacturer of electric/hybrid vehicles and solar power systems, BYD’s launch of its North American operations will bring up to 150 green-collar engineering and management jobs focused on research and development, and will serve as the focal point for privately owned BYD dealerships across the continent. BYD employs over 200,000 people worldwide.

The company is 50% US-owned and has the backing of investor Warren Buffett MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, the utility division of Berkshire Hathaway.

In 2010, BYD topped the Businessweek Technology 100 list and was ranked by the publication as the eighth most innovative company in the world.

The investment would mean US dealerships selling BYD’s dual-mode electric and e6 pure electric vehicles to consumers and commercial fleets, all-electric long-range eBUS commercial buses, rapid charging stations, LED and solar street and parking light systems, residential solar systems, and replacement parts. Last month, BYD announced that its PV modules now come with a ten-year warranty.

Joining BYD to sign the agreements to expand green technology education and research efforts included Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Qiu Shaofang, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China to Los Angeles and Bill Allen, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

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