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Chinese electric vehicle firm BYD opens office in L.A.

October 25, 2011|By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times

Chinese electric car company BYD has opened its North American headquarters in Los Angeles and said it plans to hire about 150 workers to staff the office.

As part of the opening celebration at its offices on Figueroa Street in downtown L.A., BYD displayed one of the electric shuttle buses to be used by Hertz to transport rental car customers at Los Angeles International Airport.

The BYD eBUS-12, made in China, can run for about 155 miles on a single charge in urban conditions, BYD said.

BYD also showed off what it called an electric "passenger SUV."

There's no word on when the company might begin selling the vehicle in the United States.

"BYD looks forward to entering the U.S. consumer market, though a launch date has not yet been set. Fleet trials of BYD's cars in Los Angeles began in December of last year, and the first electric bus trials are beginning this month," said Micheal Austin, vice president of BYD America.

jerry.hirsch@latimes.com

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