Windsor still in running for electric bus plant despite U.S. announcement
California Gov. Jerry Brown walks past a logo of BYD during a visit at the Chinese automaker's headquarters in China's southern city Shenzhen,Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Windsor's mayor says talks are still on with an electric bus manufacturer based in China.
BYD, or Build Your Dreams, announced Wednesday it is opening a facility outside of Los Angeles. However Mayor Eddie Francis says the city remains in negotiations for a factory in Windsor.
“I’m not surprised by the announcement today,” says Francis. “I was meeting with BYD back in March, with the senior vice president, it’s always been clear from the very beginning that they were looking to enter the American market, both in Canada and the U.S.”
Francis says one thing that they have left out, is where they will service in Canada.
“That’s where we come in,” says Francis. “We are in the process of continued discussions with BYD.”
Francis has been lobbying company executives to set up a plant locally and hopes his efforts will eventually pay-off.
“The step that we’re at right now is that BYD is getting their buses approved by Transport Canada,” says Francis. “They have to first satisfy Transport Canada and the requirements for Canadian safety standards.”
Once they satisfy that, then Transport Canada will be able to issue the approval. Once the approval is issued for the buses, the buses will be road worthy in Ontario and in Canada, Francis says.
“Then Transit Windsor will issue a purchase order,” says Francis. “We will buy some buses. We will put the busses on the road and then hopefully BYD will be able to market to the rest of the Canadian industries and transit authorities. Then a facility will be announced for Canada.”