News / Economy

Chinese Electric Bus Company Charges into US

Chinese Electric Bus Company Charges Into USi
X
February 19, 2014 10:37 PM
In the heart of southern California, home of packed freeways and major smog problems, help may be on the way from an unexpected source -- China. In this report narrated by Colin Lovett, Jeff Shu tells us the Chinese company BYD is trying to make an impact while overcoming new obstacles.
Jeff Shu
— In the heart of southern California, home of packed freeways and major smog problems, help may be on the way from an unexpected source - China. The Chinese company BYD is trying to make an impact while overcoming new obstacles.

Outside the BYD U.S. headquarters in the heart of Los Angeles, Auto Marketing Manager Lifang Yan agilely moved a 12-meter-long BYD electric-powered bus.

“Zero emissions, zero pollution, lower fuel costs, and lower maintenance costs," she said.

BYD, which is short for “Build You Dreams”, is the first Chinese company to manufacture cars in the United States.

Its battery-powered buses should be a dream come true for a city with constant traffic jams and serious air pollution like Los Angeles.  And so far, the company has three small orders from southern California transit agencies.

But now,  it needs to convince buyers to make larger orders.

The Los Angeles County Transit Authority uses 2,200 propane-powered buses to transport 1.4 million people every day.  Yet, it has also decided to invest in a small number of electric buses.

“Our goal is to have a cleaner environment. Our goal is to have a quieter environment," said Richard Hunter, the transit authority's head of bus procurement. "Our goal is to be very safe and have a pleasant passenger experience. These goals facilitate our investment into electric buses.”

However, Hunter said the initial order was only for five buses, with extensive testing over the next six to nine months.

The Federal Department of Transportation is also currently testing the performance of BYD’s electric buses to see if they meet U.S. standards.

Testing is not the only hurdle the company faces.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris lobbied BYD to build its factory in his town to bring jobs to the area.

But in October, a worker’s rights group reported the company for violating minimum wage standards - leading to a fine.  An investigation later proved the accusation false and the fine was revoked.  The company did pay a small fine for paying some its workers from Mainland China in Chinese currency.

And Mayor Parris came to its defense “You’re mixing two countries. You’re not just mixing two companies and I wasn’t really aware of that.  You know, I was kind of expecting them to just be an American company with a Chinese name, you know.  But that’s not how it works.  But we were able to take care of it very quickly.  You know, it turned out that it wasn’t really a problem and what adjustments needed to be made we made very quickly."

The company said it would add up to 100 local workers this year as it looks to expand.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.