A Coventry automotive design and manufacturing company has set up a new joint venture agreement with a leading electric vehicle manufacturer from Belarus.
The new company, Wave Industries, set up by CAD CAM Automotive (CCA) and Minsk-based manufacturer BKM Holding will create 600 new jobs by establishing a zero-emissions manufacturing plant in the UK.
The agreement was signed at a private reception in London with Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas, who has given his personal backing to the project to jointly produce electric buses and commercial vans.
The 300 Series electric bus will be launched at the Euro Bus Expo 2020 at the NEC in Birmingham in November and the production of an initial 300 vehicles will start in Coventry early next year which will reach up to 800 buses annually by 2025 when 600 jobs will have been created.
The two businesses are also collaborating on a hydrogen fuel cell powered electric delivery van which is due to be launched in the UK late next year.
Martyn Wheeler, CEO of Wave Industries, met the Ambassador of Belarus Sergei Aleinik and Sergey Chistov from BKM Holding to finalise the distribution agreement and business plan at Coventry Transport Museum.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street – who has supported the joint venture – and Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub which has assisted CCA with its growth strategy, were also present.
Mr Wheeler said the electric buses are ready for market and the hydrogen bus and van ‘proof of concept’ has been completed.
“Our aim is to be a world leader in the development and manufacture of fully integrated Zero Emissions vehicles and transport systems,” he said.
“We are bringing together the heritage, expertise, skills base and research and design excellence of our business with the proven electric vehicle technology experience of Belarus.
“As well as creating 600 new jobs, there will a tremendous amount of Intellectual Property Rights and Research and Design work included in the joint venture.
“We will export the electric vehicles to Commonwealth countries and talks are already underway to supply the electric buses to Egypt and Nigeria. We are actively seeking a UK retailer or logistics partner to collaborate with us in the development of the commercial van.
“We won’t just be bringing buses and vans to the UK but the complete design and installation of transport infrastructure systems.
Photo: Back, from the left, Thomas Ashton (CAA), West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Sergei Aleinik (Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus), Craig Humphrey (CWLEP Growth Hub) and Dmitry Sudas (Embassy of Belarus). Front, from the left, Sergey Chistov (BKM Holding) and Martyn Wheeler (Wave Industries)