It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of an electric bus was a novelty. Questions about range, cold weather operation, and charging time still had to be answered.
Today, China’s BYD is the clear world leader in the electric bus market, with more than 35,000 of the company’s pure electric buses in service across the globe at the end of 2017.
The environmental benefits are already substantial and growing.
Worldwide, 279,000 barrels a day less of fossil fuel are consumed because of zero emission buses, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. They also note that in China 9,500 new electric buses are going into service every five weeks.
In the U.S., regional transportation systems are increasingly going electric, with BYD signing a contract at the end of May with the University of Georgia to provide 21 pure electric buses.
BYD has sold more than 700 battery-electric buses and trucks to customers in the U.S. and Canada, which is more than any other manufacturer.
Replacing smelly diesel buses is a priority for cities as studies have linked asthma and other lung ailments to diesel exhaust.
The Union for Concerned Scientists note that, “Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment account for nearly half of all nitrogen oxides (NOx) and more than two-thirds of all particulate matter (PM) emissions from US transportation sources.”
In addition to the important benefits in helping to create a cleaner environment, BYD’s growing impact as an employer is also drawing attention.
BYD’s Stella Li, president of BYD Motors, notes the company just received the inaugural Select LA Foreign Direct Investment Award, recognizing its impact on the regional economy and jobs in Southern California.
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.