BYD Shifts Production to Face Masks and Hand Sanitizer

Chinese electric vehicle maker responds to Covid-19 outbreak

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD has announced it is operating the ‘world’s largest face mask plant’, less than a month after starting production in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company, which is partially owned by Warren Buffett, said its factory can produce 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizer gels and five million face masks per day, equivalent to a quarter of China’s entire production capacity and claims it was able to begin mask production within seven days of deciding to launch production. It suggests the market would normally take 15 to 30 days to manufacture a mask-producing machine and start output.

BYD is shipping its medical-grade hand sanitizers to medical staff in hospitals and agencies across China.

Sherry Li, Director General of BYD’s President Office, says, “A production line for high-quality face masks requires about 1300 parts for various gears, chains, and rollers, 90% of which are BYD’s self-made parts.”

Zhao Jianping, General Manager of BYD’s Quality Division, said: “The equipment that we already have offers precision and quality that is much higher than what is commonly required to produce masks.”

Last year BYD sold more than 113,000 plug-in EVs worldwide and currently has nearly 40,000 electric buses in service around the world.

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