Electric bus and commercial vehicle specialist BYD has put plans to open its first Canadian electric truck plant on hold but could revive the project when it sees a business case, a company executive told Reuters.

BYD had planned to open the site this year in Ontario with about 40 workers, the news agency reported.

"It's just not happening right now, and we're not necessarily waiting on anything to make it happen," Ted Dowling, vice president of BYD Canada, told Reuters.

"When the business case makes sense, we'll do it."

The report said Dowling did not give a specific reason for the decision to suspend the plan but noted the company had made more progress winning Canadian orders for buses than trucks.

He said BYD's decision was not related to Ontario's move on 3 July to scrap the province's incentives for green vehicles and its cap and trade programme which required companies to buy allowances for some greenhouse gas emissions.

Dowling expects Ontario's newly elected government will roll out a new programme that could be better than an old plan, Reuters said.

When the plan was first reported, BYD's trucks had not been approved to operate on Canadian roads.

BYD subsequently said it had received approval on 26 June, shortly before right-wing populist Doug Ford took office as Ontario's premier.

The provincial government told Reuters in an email it had canceled cap and trade to bring down petrol prices and lower costs for families and businesses and, as a result, the incentive programme ended. Transport ministry spokesman Bob Nichols said Ontario would release a new environmental plan later this month.

Reuters said a new truck plant would have been a small boost to Canada's auto industry, which has lost jobs (and is losing more) to the US, where governments offer manufacturers rich incentives, and Mexico, where labour costs are lower.

BYD's assembly plant in Lancaster, California, started with about 100 workers in 2013 and now employs close to 1,000, Dowling told Reuters.