Category Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD’s Pure Electric Buses Now on the Job in Canada

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has debuted its first three pure electric buses in St. Albert, Canada.

The buses are the first electric buses BYD has sold in Canada, and the three BYD K9 buses are the first of seven electric buses for the city.

The order represents a conversion of a full 10% of the city’s bus fleet to electric, which will be fulfilled by the end of the year and shows its commitment to migrating its fleet to next-generation fuels.

Of particular note is the performance of the buses in cold weather. The buses are hardy enough to perform in extreme cold weather that can drop down to -35°C in the winter.

The city of Edmonton has also tested BYD’s buses and found that two of BYD’s K9 electric buses tested against two brand new diesel buses were more reliable in the extreme cold temperatures than the diesel buses.

The buses cost $970,000 Canadian dollars each, and are part of the province’s Green Transit Incentives Program, which supports new and existing public transport infrastructure technology. The project’s ultimate aim is to reduce the number of vehicles on the province’s roads and lower greenhouse gases.

BYD Canada Vice President Ted Dowling said the introduction of the 10.6 meter long battery powered buses were exciting. “Many more Canadian cities and provinces will be under pressure to buy electric buses soon because they cannot be led by the oil province.” Alberta has the world’s third largest oil reserves.

Provincial and federal politicians in Canada have actively promoted green transport solutions in the country as part of the country’s commitment to mitigating climate change.

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 is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

BYD Unveils Pure Electric Refuse Truck for North American Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Noisy, smelly diesel-powered refuse trucks are about to be replaced by a zero- emission pure electric refuse truck by Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD that is now available for purchase and deployment in North America.

BYD, which has become the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, debuted its class 8 battery-electric refuse truck at the 2017 ACT Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center.

BYD’s truck is the first heavy-duty refuse truck designed and built by an original equipment manufacturer and is 100 percent battery electric. Manufactured in Lancaster, California, the BYD refuse truck is compliant with FMVSS and CMVSS regulations

“BYD continues to lead the heavy-duty electric vehicle market with our advanced battery technology, and this new refuse truck is just the latest example of our vehicle solutions that can save fleet customers tens of thousands of dollars annually,” said Stella Li, President of BYD Motors. “BYD’s medium- and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles have a lower total cost of ownership and can be a one-for-one replacement with fossil fueled vehicles in fleet operations.”

BYD’s 10-ton payload refuse truck provides 76 miles of range with minimal battery degradation. The truck is a cab and chassis platform, which includes the batteries, high voltage control system, all-electric propulsion system, and electric power take off for powering the hydraulic system to operate the refuse truck bodies. This platform is designed to integrate with all of the major refuse truck body builders in North America, and can be configured as a side loader, automated side loader, front loader, rear loader, or roll off.

As the refuse truck was built by BYD in its entirety, as opposed to as a retrofit of a CNG or diesel truck, the entire system was designed with electric propulsion in mind. For operators, that translates to optimized efficiency, maintenance, and usability throughout its life.

BYD says that fleet managers can expect more than $13,000 of operational cost savings annually based on service routes of 60 miles per day/five days a week.

The savings are due to high-efficiency electric motors and motor controls, as well as lower maintenance on propulsion systems, fewer fluids to change, less brake wear due to cutting-edge regenerative braking technology, and fewer moving parts.

The BYD battery-electric refuse truck can charge at 40 kW, 80 kW, 100 kW, or 200 kW rates, requiring between one and five hours to charge depending on the power interface used. BYD’s refuse truck battery technology allows for a projected 80 percent capacity after 5,000 cycles or 14 years, if charged every day.

BYD designs their vehicles to fit in seamlessly to any fleet with an advanced vehicle-to-grid system allowing the vehicle to deliver power back to the grid, to a load, or to another vehicle without any disruptions.

BYD employs more than 600 skilled workers at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

BYD’s 60-Foot Articulated Battery-Electric Bus Rolls in North America

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has delivered the longest pure electric bus in North America. The 60-foot articulated battery-electric transit bus will go in service for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Los Angeles County, California.

The bus, part of AVTA’s award-winning campaign to fully electrify its fleet by 2018, was also built with local labor in BYD’s factory in Lancaster, just miles from the AVTA office. It is the first delivery from AVTA’s order of thirteen 60-foot BYD buses.

“The Antelope Valley Transit Authority is leading the North American transit market with its electrification commitment, and so it’s only fitting that they should have the first bus of its kind in North America,” said Macy Neshati, Senior Vice President of BYD Heavy Industries. “This bus runs longer and holds more passengers than any other commercially available battery-electric bus, and I know it will serve the people of the Antelope Valley well.”

Len Engel, Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, added, “We’ve been proud to be at the forefront of the smart business of electrification, protecting our air, saving money, and creating local jobs here in the Antelope Valley. Having the first 60-foot articulated electric transit bus on the continent is a feather in the cap of the people of Lancaster, Palmdale, and the other communities we serve.”

The 60-foot BYD bus seats up to 60 people and provides a range of 200 miles on a single charge with full charging completed in two to three hours. It will join the rest of the AVTA fleet in serving the half million residents of northern Los Angeles County.

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 is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

Holland The Latest Country Ordering BYD Pure Electric Buses

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Holland is the latest country to order BYD’s pure electric buses, as the company continues to make inroads in selling its vehicles around the world.

BYD achieved a record five billion RMB profit in 2016.

Syntus, a Keolis Group company, has confirmed orders for a total of nine BYD pure electric 12m single deck ebuses for service in two Dutch cities, Amersfoort and Almere.

The Amersfoort order calls for six-year service agreement while in Almere there is a 10-year service agreement. In Almere two BYD demonstrator vehicles will provide service from April until the new buses are delivered.

Cees Anker, the Syntus General Manager who signed the contract with BYD, commented:

“We consider it as our responsibility to reduce the environmental impact and we are proud that we will operate these buses in Amersfoort and Almere. The deployment of these electric buses fits with the strategy of Syntus as a subsidiary of Keolis on sustainable mobility.”

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

Buffett Says Wells Fargo “Incentivized the Wrong Type of Behavior”

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Warren Buffett continued to take aim at Wells Fargo during his answers to shareholders’ questions at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting.

He noted that Wells Fargo “incentivized the wrong type of behavior,” and felt that its CEO John Stumpf, was slow in responding to the scandal.

Berkshire Hathaway is Wells Fargo’s largest shareholder at just under ten percent of the company.

The stock has been one of Berkshire’s long term core holdings, and so far it has shown no sign of selling its position.

Still, Buffett emphasized that he was not pleased with the actions Stumpf took.

“If there’s a major problem, the CEO will get wind of it. At that moment, that’s the key to everything. The CEO has to act,” Buffett said. “The main problem was they didn’t act when they learned about it.”

Some 5,300 employees were eventually fired for creating over 2 million phony accounts tied to existing customers in order to meet sales goals, and Stumpf ended up resigning.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Buffett said, noting the old adage. “A pound of cure is worth a ton of cure delayed,” he added.

© 2017 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.

Commentary: Berkshire Made the Right Bet on BYD

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

While investors cross their fingers and hope that Tesla’s anticipated Model 3 profits will come in time to bail out the company’s cash burn rate, another electric car and battery maker, China’s BYD, is celebrating its record profits in 2016.

Wondering which company Berkshire Hathaway invested in? If you said BYD, you are right.

The good news for Berkshire, which owns just under ten percent of BYD, is that BYD achieved a record five billion RMB profit in 2016, as the company continues to debut its pure electric buses and cars in markets around the world.

BYD recently unveiled the ‘Dynasty’ prototype vehicle created by its new Design Director Wolfgang Egger.

BYD is preparing to make an even greater push internationally by investing in world class technology and expertise that advances its vision of creating an eco-system of quality new energy products. The five billion RMB SkyRail monorail that was launched last October, the appointment of actor Leonardo DiCaprio as brand ambassador in China for new energy vehicles, along with the recent hiring of two European automobile heavyweights underscores the company’s strategic global expansion.

“Joining BYD provides an opportunity to help a young brand develop its design DNA as it looks to expand its global footprint,” said BYD Design Director Wolfgang Egger. “This concept vehicle will take BYD’s consumer vehicles in an exciting new direction, with design cues like its dragon-inspired exterior drawing inspiration from China’s rich cultural heritage.”

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

BYD’s Electric EcoTaxis Hit the Streets in Ecuador

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Thirty BYD pure electric e5 taxis are now in service in Loja, Ecuador. The project was initiated by the local community and backed by the Ecuadorian government with a tax free incentive.

“The strong support from the government and the development bank Corporación Financiera Nacional shows united effort to create a sustainable living environment,” said Jorge Burbano, Business Manager of BYD E-Motors Ecuador. “We are impressed by their conviction and perseverance to make EcoTaxis a reality.”

Introducing electric taxis into Loja’s public transport system is just one of many steps Ecuador is taking to mitigate climate change. It – along with every Latin American country – is one of the signatories to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. At 43.6 percent renewable energy also plays a growing role in Ecuador’s energy mix.

The Mayor of Loja, Bolivar Castillo, expressed his gratitude to the locals who first approached City Hall with a business case for the EcoTaxi. “This demonstrates that the people of Loja are not afraid to try new things. Cities like ours will pave the way for others to follow.”

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

BYD Opens R$150 Million Solar Panel Factory in Brazil

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

China’s BYD Company, the Shenzhen-based new energy technology company, has launched a solar panel factory in the southeastern Brazilian city of Campinas, the country’s first zero ecosystem project. With an initial investment of R$150 million, the plant will have a production capacity of 200 megawatts and generate 360 jobs.

BYD Brazil’s solar panels contain the exclusive state-of-the-art technology Double Glass. Double Glass increases energy production by 7 percent compared to previous modules extends durability to 50 years and offers a lower product degeneration rate of 0.3 percent. This is a significant reduction from the 0.7 percent experienced by solar panels with EVA.

“BYD is a global high tech company. As such our goal is to bring the world’s best technology to Brazil, creating new jobs and generating innovation in the country. With local production we will help consolidate the distribution and generation markets,” says Tyler Li, General Manager of BYD Brazil and President of BYD Energy do Brasil.

Additionally BYD Brazil also announced that they will be nationalizing their electric bus chassis production line. Located in the same complex as the photovoltaic solar modules, the installed capacity for the electric bus unit is 720 chassis per year.

BYD was the first factory to produce and sell 100% electric bus in Brazil. Its investment in Brazil extends to a wide variety of products including the world’s first electric garbage collector truck. Its electric cars are also used in corporate fleets, taxis, and the logistics industry. The company is aiming to invest in engineering localization and infrastructure construction in the near future. “The proportion of local technology used in the production will gradually increase over the years,” said local development manager Marcos Caderllini. “We aim to broaden this proportion from 20 to 70 percent by 2022,” he said.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

BYD Cuts Ribbon on New Hungarian Electric Bus Plant

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

China’s BYD Company, the Shenzhen-based new energy technology company, has opened its newest electric bus assembly plant in the Hungarian town of Komarom. The plant will officially be known as the BYD Electric Bus and Truck Hungary Kft.

The new plant sees an investment by BYD that will total some €20 million (or about HUF 6.2 billion) in the three years to 2018.

Currently, there are 32 employees of whom 68% are factory workers. Eventually it will employ some 300 people, the vast majority being locally recruited Hungarians with a technical background, who will assemble up to 400 electric buses a year on two shifts. Those buses will be exported to customers across continental Europe.

Initial output will be electric buses and coaches but other products will soon follow, including electric forklift trucks and then light commercial vehicles.

The plant consists of five buildings: a main office, a battery test and maintenance center, an inspection line and water leak test booth, a bus and truck assembly hall and a paint shop.

It is planned that the Hungary plant will produce the bus chassis for the UK (for assembly into complete vehicles under the BYD ADL partnership) and the newly announced BYD factory in France. There are plans to deliver up to 40 vehicles by the end of this year.

For BYD the more than 66,000 square meter complex is just the first of a series of European production facilities it is planning. The event today follows an announcement just two weeks ago of the acquisition of an 80,000 square meter site for bus making in Beauvais, to the north of Paris.

According to Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, BYD is completely confident that it will need this extra bus making capacity. “The answer is simple – air quality – or, perhaps I should say, bad air quality, something which impacts the citizens of every major city worldwide. Not a week goes past without another report linking the serious detrimental health consequences of breathing polluted air and most of that pollution comes from road vehicles, largely diesel powered.

“City buses are not only a prime contributor to this but also, since they have totally predictable route patterns, are one of the easiest classes of vehicles to be electrified. Learning from the streets of major Chinese cities where poor air quality is not new, we are targeting our world leading battery technology on the city bus sector, although our ambitions stretch way beyond this humble type of vehicle.

“It is no coincidence therefore that BYD electric buses already make up the largest fleet of zero emission buses at a major international airport – Amsterdam’s Schiphol – and the largest fleet of electric city buses – in service on the streets of London”, Mr Ho said.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

BYD to Build Electric Bus Assembly Plant in France

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD Company is continuing to build out its global electric bus manufacturing capability. The Chinese battery and vehicle maker has announced it will invest €10 million in a new assembly plant in the town of Allonne, near Beauvais, in Hauts-de-France.

The project will create roughly 100 jobs in its initial phase. The production facility will occupy 32,000 sq m of a parcel totaling nearly 80,000 sq m, and will assemble up to 200 vehicles a year—single-deck buses and coaches—in its first phase.

Other vehicles may be added as BYD expands its product line.

Production is scheduled to get underway in the first half of 2018. In addition to bus assembly, BYD plans an after-sales unit for maintenance and repairs, as well as a logistics center for spare parts. In the longer term, a test center for batteries could be added.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.