New energy carmaker BYD is speeding up to expand the market for its SkyRail monorail mass transit system to solve problems such as traffic congestion and air pollution.
After five years of research and development costing 5 billion yuan ($783 million), BYD launched its first commercial SkyRail line in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, on Sept 1, and was upgraded to automatic driving last year.
The company has signed several domestic and international deals, including in the Philippines, Egypt, Brazil, Morocco and Cambodia.
BYD's director of President's Office Li Wei said the straddle-type monorail requires only one-fifth of the building cost and one-third of the construction time compared with a subway system.
Its one-way transportation capacity is 10,000 to 30,000 passengers each hour, she added.
With its concept of technology-based and innovation-oriented, BYD suggested to build a multi-dimensional transportation system to remove transportation from ground level and develop either overhead or underground transportation.
The SkyRail features BYD's proprietary iron-phosphate batteries, autonomous driving technology, small turning radius, low noise and a short time construction frame.
The rail transit is now one of BYD's four key sectors, which also include electronics, automobile and new energy.
BYD’s new energy vehicles have landed in more than 200 cities across 50 countries and regions.
Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, the pace of BYD's globalization has been significantly accelerated, Li said.
In recent years, BYD has set up factories in the United States, Latin America and Asia Pacific countries, and its investment has been fully expanded, Li added.
BYD has 220,000 employees worldwide, 33 industrial parks at home and abroad, and has production bases in many countries including the United States, Brazil, Japan and India.
BYD is one of the leading companies located in Pingshan district of Shenzhen.
The district is located in the southeast end of " Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor ", with new energy (automobile) industry base, biological industry base, new industrialization demonstration base, export processing zones as four state-level signs.
It formed the industrial cluster including new energy (cars), biological medicine, and new generation of information technology and intelligent manufacturing as three leading industries.