Text & Photos: Anirudh Raheja

China’s leading bus maker Build Your Dreams (BYD) has finally decided to assemble e-buses in India. For this, the Shenzhen headquartered company has joined hands with Smart Dreams in India, which is led by Singapore-based entrepreneur B K Modi. With pollution problems rising faster than anticipated by various experts, the company will bring in pure electric buses in the first phase, which can be followed by cars as well. BYD and Smart Dreams have already offered 2 buses to Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) free of charge, which are currently plying on its commercial routes. Backed by investment veteran Warren Buffet, BYD has an electric bus manufacturing facility in South California, US. At the unveil of a pure electric bus in Delhi, Liu Xue Liang, Managing Director, BYD Asia Pacific region, said that it is the right time to enter this market as India has a huge potential considering the launch of electric vehicles in India. Currently, the electric bus by Smart Dreams & BYD is powered by fully recyclable lithium iron battery that has 4,000 recharging cycles and can clock 250 kms on a fully charged battery. For a complete charge, the bus has to be at a halt for minimum of 5 hours.

BYD

In order to reduce cost, Smart Dreams and BYD have already finalised a facility to assemble the electric buses in ModiCiti near Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh and targeting at least 50% localisation from the very start of production. Over the next 3 to 5 years, the duo also have plans to further take this number to 75% by indigenising the battery itself riding the tech expertise in making rechargeable batteries of BYD.  With a rising thrust on smarter transport in India, both STUs in metro cities and also the upcoming smart cities will be on the radar for the group which has currently refrained from sharing the investment that will go into the project. Modi asserted that the company is already talking to the major STUs in the country and hopeful of bagging good orders from them. However, he opined that to promote the use of e-vehicles in India, the industry should be converted to zero tax segment. He added that the company has plans to line up various electric vehicles and the project overall could invite $2 billion in long term via more production facilities across India states in future.

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