A glimpse into the future as new electric bus factory opens
© Tony Buckingham/ UNP 0845 600 7737
More than 700 electric buses will be built and shipped out across the globe following the launch of a new manufacturing facility.
The Tory candidate for South Norfolk and secretary of state for international trade Liz Truss visited the Snetterton Business Park to open Equipmake's new warehouse.
Equipmake design and build electric buses which are shipped globally to the likes of Brazil, Argentina and India.
The company has grown in the last two years from a headcount of 15 to 52, and aims to build around 700 of their EBuses every year.
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The business was previously homed at the Hethel, and could not reveal how much the move had cost.
Ian Foley, managing director of Equipmake, said: "There is huge demand for clean, affordable electric buses with a worldwide market of around 300,000 vehicles per annum, and that is only growing as cities strive to improve urban air quality. Equipmake's EBus chassis is efficient and cost-effective; within eight to 10 years it will be cheaper to run than a conventional diesel.
"Manufacture of the powertrain will scale dramatically over the next few years and our target is 700 EBus chassis for South America alone in the first year of production. That is why our new bespoke facility here in Snetterton is so important - it is crucial to fulfilling requirements from international customers for both single and double-decker applications."
However the team is not only building buses, it also working on projects for supercar manufacturers, as well as a component for a company attempting to launch drone-style helicopters.
Ms Truss said: "This opening is a massive step forward for this party of the county, bringing more highly skilled and high quality jobs to the area, as well as apprenticeships.
"The expertise we see here is what is going to help Britain make its way in the world."
Ms Truss added that she looked forward to seeing how similar developments would take shape around the A11 as the county's infrastructure improves.
She also thanked the Breckland Council, the New Anglia LEP, and the Advanced Propulsion Centre for their support of the move.