Will Politicos Squelch China Demo Bus?

It will be interesting to see if Idaho politicos are as adamant about enforcing the “Buy America Act” when it comes to a demonstration electric bus for Camarillo, California as they were when Boston sought a waiver of the federal rules to get a demo locomotive in 2008.

Zonda USA–which sounds a lot more like a franchise deal than “Chinese capital investment in America”–has announced plans to locate a corporate HQ in Boise with a production facility nearby. They claim to have technology for electric buses capable of running 300 miles on a single battery charge.

On its website, Zonda USA quotes Camarillo, Calif., Mayor Mike Morgan praising the company after a tour of its all-electric bus and battery manufacturing facility in China. He’s hoping to get a Zonda bus for a demonstration project in his city next year, he said Monday, according to the STATEMAN’S ROCKY BARKER.

If it really is a Chinese company, ZONDA’S website is absurd. It purports to “support the troops and veterans.” They made no mention of the BSU Broncos or the Idaho Humane Society.

A Spanish firm wishing to build locomotives in Kentucky was denied a waiver in 2008 for two prototype engines to be built in Spain. That deal was identical to the one proposed by Camarillo, CA. They are after a demo bus (presumably built in China) with subsequent vehicles to be made in the USA.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Hey, do they give tax breaks to all dealerships?

    How much is that ski resort selling for this week?

  2. We are not in hock to Spain but China holds a ton of US debt. Think that may have anything to do with this deal?

  3. I check out there web site and found it to be lacking information. It made me question what they were really up to.

  4. The Speckled Hen
    Nov 28, 2011, 9:17 am

    My experience with this is that the Buy America requirements lead to these companies manufacturing everything in their overseas plants, either fully or assembling all the components. They then disassemble the manufactured buses or train cars and ship them to the US to be “assembled” to meet Buy America. The other technique is that they ship the component parts already organized for each train car or bus to the US for assembly.

    It’s just to fulfill the requirements of the law given that there aren’t many US companies that manufacture transit buses or trains. It really doesn’t lead to much in terms of economic development for cities, states or the US because it’s just re-assembly with no real components being manufactured at US-based facilities.

  5. Remember Idaho is the home of stupid spud farmers that like to give away the farm to attract halfbaked businesses like space shuttle launch pads, hollywood movie production houses and world wide air frieght facilities.

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