BYD Motors Inc. broke ground Tuesday on the second phase of its manufacturing facility in Lancaster to meet rising demand for its electric vehicles.
The construction will be completed next year and will add tens of thousands of square feet to the existing facility. A third phase at a later date will bring more space to the plant and bring it up to full capacity.
BYD America President Stella Li said the expansion in Lancaster demonstrates the Chinese company’s commitment to bringing good-paying jobs with career advancement opportunities to the Antelope Valley.
“Soon we’ll be able to increase production line capacity to deliver these cutting-edge zero emission vehicles even faster to customers,” Li said in a prepared statement.
BYD Motors is the U.S. subsidiary of Chinese electric vehicle and battery manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd.
The company opened its Lancaster plant in 2013 and employs more than 400 people between Lancaster and its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The manufacturer began delivering buses in 2014, and its first customer was the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.
BYD’s electric bus business is moving ahead with strong volume. The company has contracts with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, and the Washington State Department of Transportation. In May, workers were assembling vehicles for Long Beach Transit and Stanford University.
The new space will accommodate BYD’s plans to begin making medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Lancaster.