Electric bus and taxi maker BYD said it would open at least one plant in Europe "when the time is right" and would also form joint ventures with established manufacturers.

Managing director of BYD Europe, Isbrand Ho, asked the 20-20 conference in London why the electrification of the road passenger transport on polluted city streets has taken so long?

"Especially when the 'e vehicles for urban mobility' are ready today."

He said one concern was that diesel bus manufacturers may begin to lose jobs. BYD, said Ho, is prepared to open up bus manufacturing operations close to its markets as it has already done in Brazil and California.

He added: "For the record we will open at least one plant in Europe when the time is right. And, we also plan to instigate joint ventures with established manufacturers whereby we will supply them with our proven technology mating it with their body building capabilities.

"Special interest groups, lobbyists and opposition parties are making sound and practical policy changes difficult. Replacing polluting vehicles with zero emission electric vehicles ought to be an ace political deliverable.

"In China, for instance, once there was a realisation that poor air quality had become increasingly severe and that imports of oil and oil consumption were spiralling, urgent action was taken. The result is apparent and breathtaking. BYD leads the world in battery technology, China leads the world in the electrification of public transportation."

Pure electric taxis from the 50 strong fleet of Thriev, a business offering its passengers 100% emission free transport, collected 20-20 VIPs from airports and one of the pair of BYD's ebuses in service with Transport for London took delegates to the key event at City Hall which was addressed by speakers from various cities around the world.

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