BYD’s Electric Buses Launched in South Korea’s Jeju Island

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

New energy technology company BYD has debuted a fleet of 20 of its pure electric buses in South Korea’s pristine Jeju Island, the largest project of its kind in Northeast Asia.

The launch represents another milestone for BYD, which has gradually evolved from a rechargeable battery manufacturer to a new energy giant since its establishment in 1995.

BYD’s electric vehicles have a footprint in more than 200 cities worldwide.

The BYD eBus-7, the only pure electric mid-size bus in the South Korean market, will operate in Udo, the largest island of Jeju Island.

The eBus-7 is a compact 15-seater body that enables it to navigate the narrow roads of the small island with ease and without any carbon emissions.

The bus can travel a minimum range of 200 kilometers on a single charge, requiring only two hours to be fully charged.

BYD has rapidly drawn the attention of South Korean officials since its market entry in 2015 with product features such as the plug-and-charge capability of its electric buses.

Last December, the company’s President and founder Wang Chuanfu was among a group of industry delegates invited to attend a discussion with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his official visit to China.

Earlier BYD also welcomed a group of 60 residents from Udo Island – approximately five percent of the local population – as they personally inspected the eBus-7 at BYD’s Shenzhen headquarters before the order was placed.

“Our track record in renewable energy reflects our mission to do something for the environment with the highest quality,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager of BYD Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division. “Having passed South Korea’s rigorous vehicle safety standards, the eBus-7 is reflective of the excellent engineering behind our vehicles and suitable for the fragile terrain of Udo Island.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.