In an instant, the COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed upheaval all across the globe. In China, a company that makes electric vehicles (EVs) has changed its focus to help address the challenges that are part of our new reality.
- BYD is a Chinese company that makes EVs, and it’s backed by Warren Buffett.
- The carmaker has turned its focus to making face masks and disinfectant in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
- The company can make up to five million masks a day and is working on expanding its capacity even further.
EV manufacturer BYD has shifted gears to become the world’s largest producer of face masks. (Photo: BYD)
Rising to the challenge
China was the first country to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has killed more than 3,000 people in that nation, and mainland China has reported more than 80,000 infections. Because of this, there is a huge demand in China for face masks and medical supplies. To help those in need and take advantage of an opportunity, a number of Chinese companies have chosen to begin producing these sought-after items.
BYD makes electric cars and batteries, as well as e-bikes, buses, solar panels, trucks and forklifts. As the virus spread throughout China in January, BYD began re-engineering its production lines to allow the company to produce face masks and disinfectants. The company says it was able to get production of these items up and running in just two weeks. A face-mask production line requires about 1,300 parts for various gears and rollers, and BYD was able to source most of these in-house.
Currently, the company produces roughly five million face masks and 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizer per day. BYD claims this makes it the largest producer of face masks in the world.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mask shortage that threatens the lives of healthcare workers all around the world. Actions taken by companies such as BYD offer a solution for this problem.