BYD America Corp., a division of a China-based company that makes electric cars, solar modules and lithium-ion batteries, says it is planning to open a U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles when it begins importing its plug-in cars to the city near the end of 2010.
The company now has offices in Elk Grove Village, Ill., near Chicago, and in Cupertino in Northern California. At a meeting in Lancaster, Calif., in March to introduce a new home energy-storage system, company officials said that its plug-in sedan would be introduced in Los Angeles and that an increased presence was planned there.
More plug-in cars are in use in the Los Angeles area than in any other metropolitan region in the country, and the city has begun efforts to increase the adoption of solar electricity.
BYD, a company in which America's best-known investor, Warren Buffett, holds a stake, has been promoting the future potential to combine solar photovoltaic systems with home-battery storage of the generated electricity and the use of electrified vehicles.
The company has established a partnership with KB Home to construct model homes in Lancaster demonstrating the technologies involved.