BYD to open Ontario plant

TORONTO, ON – Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. says it is planning to open its first assembly plant in Ontario.

A Government of Ontario delegation that included Premier Kathleen Wynne and Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade visited the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China at the beginning of December on a mission to talk trade and tax credits.

BYD says it will open the plant to conduct final assembly operations on short-range vehicles in the next 12 months, due in part to the investments the government is making in infrastructure to support electric vehicles in the next decade.

The company says it will benefit from programs like the Green Commercial Vehicle Program, and cap and trade initiatives, influencing it to build the new plant in Ontario.

BYD says it is also expecting a surge in demand from Canadian municipal governments and business, as more companies look at switching to electric.

Business with a footprint in Canada such as Loblaw Companies have announced a larger investment in electric Class 8 vehicles, with the grocery and pharmaceutical retailing giant investing in both BYD and its competitor Tesla.

BYD says it is also working with local municipalities to make electric buses and garbage trucks a reality on city streets.

“The strength of our technology and commitment to localizing the supply chains explains why we have won over governments and private consumers from our home base in China to Canada and Australia,” said Ted Dowling, Vice President of BYD Canada.

The company told Bloomberg News it will be starting by hiring 40 people for the new plant, which will be shipped parts from China to assemble the vehicles here.

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