“In this factory [referring to the unit located in Vila Nova de Gaia] capacity is reaching its limit. But we have a growth plan. It has been decided that production of electric mobility buses will move to the Ovar factory, which will require an expansion of the factory “, said José Ramos.
The president of Salvador Caetano explained that the chassis of electric buses “are already produced in Ovar “and that the full production of this segment will take place “in four to five years “.
Asked if this will require the reinforcement of human resources, José Ramos estimated the entry of “at least 100 more people” in the Ovar unit, in the district of Aveiro.
The Salvador Caetano group recently invested in a new project to manufacture buses powered by hydrogen, creating vehicles with a range of 400 kilometres that use Toyota’s fuel cell system.
José Ramos revealed that the first five units are due out this year and that three of them will be ready in October at the G20 summit.
The president of the group added that he had “high hopes” for the project, estimating in 2021 to produce “close to the 100 units” of hydrogen powered buses.
Pedro Siza Vieira, the Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition, was also visiting the company based in Vila Nova de Gaia, in the district of Porto, and highlighted the business of the Salvador Caetano group with Abellio, which operates buses in London.
In August last year it was announced that CaetanoBus closed a deal with Abellio for the sale of 34 electric vehicles for €15 million.
The e.City Gold buses “will start operating in March 2020” and this is “the first Caetano electric bus in the United Kingdom, reinforcing the brand’s already strong presence in this market”, the Portuguese company said in a statement.
Pedro Siza Vieira was on board one of the buses that will leave for London, having at the end of the visit praised the way in which the group knew how to “manage well” the “Brexit” effect and, simultaneously, a side effect that was the predictable devaluation of the pound”.
“Here ‘Brexit’ is not having any impact. This company currently has a very significant penetration and market share in the touring coach sector in England,” said the minister.
The Economy Minister also praised the “great engineering quality” of CaetanoBus, as well as the “great diversity of vehicles”.
“When we talk about electric vehicles or vehicles that are powered by a hydrogen cell, we are talking about very complex systems that have to be integrated and that demand a lot from those who are developing these new vehicles here.