In a response to what BYD terms "China's deteriorating air quality and ecological environment", the city of Hangzhou has placed an order for 3,000 electric taxis and buses.

The order for 2,000 long-range, battery-electric transit buses and 1,000 long-range, pure-electric cars [e6 taxis] was signed this week by the mayor of Hangzhou, Hongming Zhang.

"Today the electric vehicle market is growing and EV technologies have matured to the point where every city transit should be adopting them. The turning point of new energy is now, and we want to see BYD grow the same way we saw Jack Ma's Alibaba [headquartered in Hangzhou] grow years ago," said Secretary Gong Zheng of Hangzhou's Municipal Committee.

BYD says it will be making special arrangements to deliver the first 1,000 buses and 500 eTaxis by the end of 2014.

Hangzhou, the largest city in Zhejiang province, has a population of around 2.5 million.

BYD recently lost an order for 10 electric buses which had been due to be delivered to the city of Long Beach in California but this was more than offset by a recent deal to supply up to 1,200 buses to Dalian.