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Global Manufacturing Supply Chains in the Spotlight


Global Manufacturing Supply Chains in the Spotlight

Kevin Brundish, CEO of AMTE Power, commenting on how COVID-19 has highlighted a substantial problem in global manufacturing supply chains.

The need for strong, stable, onshore supply chains in the face of global disruption has never been more apparent. Political uncertainties, trade wars, and the pandemic have all highlighted an imbalance and over-reliance on the Far East, posing a particular threat to the effectiveness of manufacturing in Western countries, such as the U.K and the U.S. This is especially relevant as the unprecedented transition to vehicle electrification and renewable energy is gaining momentum – in order for countries worldwide to meet zero-emissions targets by 2050.

By 2040, over half of cars are projected to be powered by electricity[1], with the lithium-ion battery playing a key role as the most valuable component, and making up around a third of an electric vehicle’s cost. However, global demand for battery manufacture is outstripping supply, and the market is still reliant on a few large-scale, offshore manufacturers, creating uncertainty and risk. The pandemic has brought the nature of global supply chains into sharper focus, and has caused significant disruption – China, as a global hub for sourcing, dominated a staggering 70 percent of the battery market[2].

To counter these trends, disruptive, emerging areas of niche manufacturing – such as vehicle electrification and energy storage – now provide a vital moment for the U.K. to establish a more robust position on the global stage. British manufacturing firms such as AMTE Power are carrying forward the country’s heritage in best-in-class engineering capabilities that shine through in support of these niche markets. These are skills that are critical to the U.K.’s development of high-performance vehicles, and although onshore electric vehicle production (EV) remains in its infancy, there is vast opportunity for the country to seize. In the U.K. alone, the EV market is forecast to be worth £8.7 billion by 2030, with an estimated 980,000 vehicles being made a year[3].

Many new electric car models are due to be released in the next couple of years, giving consumers a greater choice and driving down premiums on price. This will consequently drive demand for lithium-ion cells, presenting a real opportunity to revitalize automotive industries. The Faraday Institute project the European demand for U.K.-produced batteries is set to skyrocket up to 200 GWh per year by 2040 – the equivalent of up to 13 gigafactories. In the absence of any onshore battery manufacturing facilities, British automotive jobs are predicted to be lost by 2040. In order to meet this demand and retain the country’s status as an international automotive leader, having a robust onshore supply chain is critical.

Aligning with the country’s Industrial Strategy, which outlines the government’s ambitions on EV and battery technologies, the U.K. should now be building out their own independent infrastructure for lithium-ion batteries. Through initiatives such as the Faraday Challenge, a springboard is being provided to invest in research and development for high-value areas of the EV supply chain, where the country has a comparative advantage. However, more support is needed from the U.K. government, to invest and provide incentives to support the transition to electrification, while prioritizing the creation of onshore plants, and supporting firms like AMTE’s own gigafactory plans. It is potentially dangerous, costly, and increases carbon footprints to import batteries from the Far East – the exact issue the global community is fighting against.

The quality of talent, research, and skilled labor in the West provides the perfect backdrop to develop a sustainable onshore EV ecosystem – British manufacturing companies in particular have a world-renowned history of excellence in niche automotive manufacturing. The shake-up of the global supply chain is bound to draw in investment, stimulating the economy and creating jobs whilst mitigating the risk of unpredictable external factors, such as COVID-19.







BYD & Toyota Collaborate for Electric Vehicles

Build Your Dreams (BYD) and Toyota released information this week confirming next steps behind a joint company that would ultimately support battery electric vehicle research and the creation of BEVs and related parts.

The R&D company will comprise of transferred engineers and total needed capital will be shared 50/50 among the two companies. Build Your Dreams and Toyota both have notable accomplishments in supporting an eco-friendly atmosphere, including Toyota’s Prius – the first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle, and BYD’s manufacturing of energy storage cells and electric vehicles. BYD is responsible for the first mass production of plug-in hybrid electrified vehicles and boasts four consecutive years of first-place sales rankings for its BEVs and PHEVs.

“We aim to combine BYD’s strengths in development and competitiveness in the battery electric vehicle market with Toyota’s quality and safety technology to provide the best BEV products for the market demand and consumer affection as early as we can,” stated BYD senior vice president Lian Yu-bo.

Additional information released confirmed the joint R&D company’s headquarters will be in China beginning in 2020 and ultimately support further efforts for Toyota’s vision of global electrification.

“With the same goal to further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, we appreciate that BYD and Toyota can become “teammates,” able to put aside our rivalry and collaborate. We hope to further advance and expand both BYD and Toyota from the efforts of the new company with BYD,” concluded Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi.

BYD to Fulfill Order for 40 Zero-Emissions Buses

Build Your Dreams (BYD) continues supporting sustainable public transportation options as it prepares to fulfill an order of 40 of its emissions-free buses for the Anaheim Transportation Network. Half of the order consists of BYD’s 40-foot BYD K9M in addition to 30-foot BYD K7M and the 60-foot K11M for service at the Anaheim Resort™.

“We’ve been operating four of BYD’s 40-foot K9Ms on our routes over the past two years, and based on their performance, we are confident in BYD’s quality product and their support of our efforts to electrify our fleet,” ATN Executive Director Diana Kotler said in response to the news. “These new buses will provide ATN a 57 percent zero-emission fleet by 2020.”

The Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN) is a nonprofit
transportation management association with a focus on zero-emissions and sustainable transportation options in the Anaheim Resort regions. The innovative and environmentally-friendly BYD fleet additions bring a quieter, cleaner option for the 9.5 million+ residents, visitors, and employees who rely on the Anaheim Resort Transit each year.

“Residents and visitors to the Anaheim area will enjoy the benefits of a quieter ride, a cleaner environment and the reliability of zero emission buses manufactured by BYD,” Hill said in the release. “We’re proud to help ATN reduce the region’s carbon footprint.”

Source: BYD

BYD Opens San Carlos Service Center

Known as “The Official Sponsor of Mother Nature” and the world’s leading electric vehicle company, Build Your Dreams (BYD), announced the opening of its newest North American service center in San Carlos, California last week. The expansion adds to the more than $250 million the company has already invested in the North American region.

With its double-bay and warehouse center equipped facility spanning 15,600 square feet, the new service center will provide added support for customers seeking quick access to parts, services, and maintenance for its buses and trucks which include the 30-foot K7M, the 35-foot K9S, 40-foot K9M transit buses, the 23-foot C6 coach, the 35-foot C8 coach, and BYD’s 45-foot double-deck bus, C10MS.

Transportation agencies in BYD’s customer portfolio that will benefit from the service center include agencies such as Marin Transit, Napa Valley Vine Transit, Solano County’s Soltrans, Fresno County’s Rural Transit Agency, Tri Delta Transit, and Monterey-Salinas Transit.

Other industries involved within the company’s robust customer portfolio include global tech companies and universities in the Bay Area and Central California regions.

“With more than 100 BYD buses operating in the Bay Area, BYD wants to make sure our customers receive quick, expert care,” said Bobby Hill, BYD Vice President, Coach & Bus. “BYD is committed to top-quality customer care.”

Fisker Inc. Manufacturing Announces New Senior Advisor

Don Jackson is the new name behind the manufacturing strategy and site selection at California-based Fisker Inc., the company confirmed this week. Jackson brings an extensive 40-year background in manufacturing leadership positions with big-name companies such as Volkswagen and Toyota.

“Following the exciting announcement on our affordable electric luxury SUV for the mass global market, we sought out an automotive industry leader with a strong history of results in high-volume manufacturing and the utmost in quality control,” said Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO. “Don has lead operations for the largest OEMs, raising the bar in vehicle quality and reliability. We are delighted to have him join our team as we ramp up toward launch in 2021 and prepare to bring a more emotion-stirring, American-made EV design to people worldwide.”

Jackson’s role will directly impact and support Fisker’s focus on breakthrough automotive technology and advanced mobility solutions as the company continues finalizing facility selections for the production of an
all-electric luxury SUV to mass market.

“The future of the automotive industry lies in electric vehicles. There’s an undeniable shift toward sustainable mobility around the globe, and Fisker is breaking the mold with the most forward-thinking technologies complemented by Henrik’s world-renowned, emotionally-compelling design touches,” Jackson adds.

“I share Fisker’s vision of driving mass electrification forward by producing more desirable EVs for the global market here in the United States, and I look forward to building a disruptive strategy that combines Fisker’s unique business model with the very best manufacturing practices that assure unparalleled results and outstanding, reliable products. The Fisker team is committed to exceeding customer expectations globally.”

Build Your Dreams Amps Up Sales for Regional Growth Opportunities

In an effort to proactively leverage a growing market opportunity, Build Your Dreams, a global leader in battery-electric vehicles, confirmed the appointment of two additional sales associates to support the West Coast and Pacific Northwest Coach & Bus team.

“California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho are proactive, natural adopters of electric transit vehicles, and as such, we’ve added Bobby and Scott to help us keep ahead of the region’s growing needs,” West Coast Director of Business Development for  Coach & Bus practice, Justin Scalzi said. “They will help both public agencies and private entities from the planning stages through delivery, operation and maintenance of electric bus fleets.”

Robert “Bobby” Bafus and Scott Smith are the two new faces behind the sales efforts. Each will be responsible for specific regions. Bafus is assigned Washington, Oregon, and Idaho while Smith will cover the Northern California and northern Los Angeles County regions. Smith is a U.S. Navy veteran with an impressive background as an Aviation Electrician. Bafus brings an extensive background ensuring production, inspection, testing, quality assurance, and leading commissioning efforts meet and exceed client expectations as seen with his previous role as Commissioning Lead Inspector for a global engineering firm.

“BYD continues to set the curve for delivering the innovative and fast-advancing technology of battery-electric buses,” said Bobby Hill, Vice President of BYD Coach & Bus. “And decisions like the December 2018 California Air Resources Board (CARB) Innovative Clean Transit regulation, which requires state public agencies to transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2040, will continue to keep zero-emissions buses moving forward.”

Source: Build Your Dreams