Category Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD Powers Up in Australia Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD Company Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, is focusing on the Australian renewable energy market with its proprietary Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery.

At All-Energy Australia 2017 – the country’s largest renewable energy exhibition, BYD exhibited its MINI-ES, B-Box – in high-voltage and low-voltage versions – and Containerized Energy Storage solutions to provide the market with increased efficiency, economy and flexibility.

The BYD B-Box Storage System comes in two versions: low-voltage B-Box LV and high-voltage B-Box HV. The B-Box LV system operates with a Goodwe S-BP inverter, making it the cost effective; and the B-Box HV system operates with an SMA Sunny Boy Storage inverter, which raises the system’s level of efficiency. Both are aimed at the retrofit market that is booming in Australia, that is, a market in which people already have solar panels installed and want to install an energy storage system.

Another advantage of the BYD B-Box systems is that they are modular and scalable from 2.5kWh to 442kWh – users can increase the capacity of parallel battery rack to meet different requirements of energy storage – whereas major competitors only reach 13.5kWh with a large-sized system.

A variety of configurations of the two versions of the BYD B-Box can also be used for commercial purposes.

The MINI-ES is a small-sized, all-in-one residential energy storage system that is easy to install and maintain, with an original capacity of 3kW / 3kWh that can be expanded to 6kWh. This system is fully certified by Australia’s SAA, in line with the latest Australian AS / NZS 4777.2: 2015 standard, and has become very popular with a number of Australian local power grid companies and electricity retailers.

Over 500 Australian households have already installed the BYD MINI-ES.

The BYD Containerized Energy Storage has a modular design to meet different large-scale energy storage projects demands, and features extreme safety, reliability and efficiency. It can be used for peak load and frequency regulation to stabilize renewable energy or as a back-up system to prevent outages.

Current installed capacity of BYD ESS exceeds 400MWh globally.

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 ADL Pure Electric Buses Running in Liverpool

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The city of Liverpool is now the first British provincial city to run pure electric buses from the BYD ADL partnership.

The BYD ADL buses will be operated by Arriva Merseyside and begin service later this month on the City Centre Circular Routes 26 and 27, known as The Belt.

In July 27, 2015, BYD announced a joint project with British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited to build single-deck zero-emission buses.

The delivery of the buses follows a joint bid under the Government’s OLEV scheme by Arriva North West and Merseytravel. The new buses will operate an intensive service from the Liverpool One bus station and be based at Arriva’s Green Lane bus depot in Liverpool. BYD chargers have been installed in the depot.

The order is significant in that it is the first to be won by the ADL BYD partnership (with ADL as prime contractor on this occasion) outside London where the partnership has enjoyed considerable success, winning every Transport for London (TfL) tender so far for full size pure electric buses – a total of 157 are now in service or on order to serve TfL routes.

The buses for Merseyside will cover 100 to 130 miles per day (most will operate 12 hours a day but one duty cycle calls for a 19-hour operating schedule) and will be charged overnight. In line with all ADL BYD joint products, the new buses are designed to operate a full day’s duty cycle on one charge, without the need for disruptive ‘top up’ charging during the working day and enjoy the benefit of lower cost off peak electricity. The BYD ADL solution ensures that operators do not have to purchase additional buses beyond the number of their current diesel fleet in order to maintain service on the route due to the outstanding battery capacity and range.

The ADL BYD Enviro200EVs being supplied to Arriva feature a provincial specification with the fitting of 38 seats. There is space for another 32 standing passengers and there are USB charging points throughout the buses.

Howard Farrall, Arriva Merseyside managing director said: “Arriva is committed to ensuring its fleet meets the latest clean vehicle standards. We are extremely proud to be joining forces with ADL and BYD UK at the forefront of the electric bus revolution. This new partnership will further contribute to Arriva’s ‘Destination Green’ environmental goal, which includes ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy and invest in renewable sources”.

“This is a landmark moment not just for the successful BYD ADL partnership but for the roll-out of zero-emission electric buses in British cities. We are delighted as prime contractor to help Arriva Merseyside and Merseytravel make buses an even cleaner and greener option for Liverpool. Arriva’s Enviro200EV demonstrate that the technology is ready to roll out fully electric buses in provincial towns and cities without compromising on operational efficiency,” said Arthur Whiteside, Managing Director – UK Sales at ADL.

“Liverpool is pioneering a route for other British cities and one which they can follow with full confidence that the BYD ADL partnership can deliver a range of proven, efficient and attractive products which can play a key role in improving city street air quality. We will be working hard to build on our leading role in London in other cities”, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director, BYD Europe.

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 Expands North American Facility

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, is celebrating the addition of a new wing to the current BYD Coach and Bus facility in California.

The expansion of its Lancaster, California facility brings it total manufacturing space to nearly 450,000 sq. ft. This expansion nearly quadruples BYD’s facility from its initial 2013 footprint.

The growth of BYD Coach and Bus reflects a rapid transition to electric transportation and will allow BYD to build up to 1,500 battery-electric buses annually. Since BYD established its U.S. electric bus manufacturing capabilities in Los Angeles County, the company has created nearly 800 full-time jobs throughout the state. This manufacturing facility expansion will enable BYD to hire up to 1,200 full-time workers at top production-line capacity.

This manufacturing facility is powered 100% by renewable energy, which is provided by the City of Lancaster’s Energy Company, Lancaster Choice Energy.

BYD is the undisputed leader as North America’s largest electric bus manufacturer, having delivered 137 electric buses in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 75 buses delivered in 2017. BYD is currently producing an additional 300 buses based on current customer orders and has options for more than 300 additional electric bus purchases.

BYD’s buses operate in transit agencies, universities and airports across North America, with more than 40 customers including LA Metro, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Stanford University, UCLA, UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, Anaheim Resort Transportation, Long Beach Transit, Denver Regional Transportation District, City of Albuquerque, SolTrans, SunLine Transit, Link Transit, COMO Connect, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, and many others.

The BYD Coach and Bus facility also supports R&D and assembly for BYD’s battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including delivery, drayage, refuse, and yard trucks, among other product lines. These trucks incorporate the same proven core components that are used in BYD’s commercialized buses and vehicles with several hundred million service-proven miles. By the end of 2017, BYD will have delivered 70 all-electric trucks to 15 customers in North America, with orders for more than 140 trucks to-date.

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.

Berkshire Takes Stake in Italian Insurer

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will buy an approximately 9 percent stake in Italian insurer Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni Scrl from Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA.

The transaction will be at 7.35 euros per share for a total of cost 115.9 million euros.

On August 3, Standard & Poor’s confirmed Cattolica’s rating as BBB – and the outlook as stable.

Cattolica’s stand-alone credit profile (SACP) was confirmed at bbb+.

© 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 Delivers First E-Buses of Turin Fleet

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD has delivered the first three pure electric e-buses for the public transportation in Turin, Italy.

The three BYD e-buses are the first of a fleet of 23 which are being delivered after BYD won Italy’s first big tender for 12 metre pure electric buses which was awarded in September last year.

Twenty of the buses will serve routes in Turin with a further three going to nearby Novaro.

The long range, full size e-buses will operate on Piedmont Region’s urban transport networks connecting the city centers with suburban areas. BYD will also supply full service support for 10 years.

“We are proud to manage, in Turin, the first 12 metre electric bus fleet in an Italian city”, said President and CEO of GTT, Walter Ceresa. “This is an important environmental contribution, that confirms GTT as a cutting-edge company in innovative solutions for Public Transportation”.

“Italy, together with the UK, France and countries in Benelux and Scandinavia, is now truly a top market for BYD in Europe thanks to the vision of GTT to make Turin green”, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe in Turin today. “We are delighted to win this order in the face of strong international competition”.

The tender announced by GTT (Gruppo Torinese Trasporti) in the Autumn of 2015 was the first and most important modular tender for the purchase of large electric buses in Italy.

GTT, owned by the City of Turin, serves a metropolitan area with 2 million citizens and operates a fleet of more than 1,100 buses. The BYD e-buses are the first new buses to be ordered for almost 5 years.

Across Europe bus operators are showing an increasing interest in pure electric technology: a technology that is the natural, inevitable evolution of urban public transportation in the medium term.

BYD is the world-wide market leader with over 20,000 buses delivered, as of the end of 2016.

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 Surpasses 20,000 E-Bus Orders

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

With Tesla focusing primarily on the passenger car market, Chinese new energy company BYD has positioned itself as the world leader in pure electric bus design and development. The company is rapidly moving the e-bus from an experimental novelty to the next generation of reliable urban mass transit.

BYD recently stated that had a confirmed bus orderbook of more than 20,000 buses at the end of 2016.

BYD’s strength in the United States market is growing rapidly. In July, the Board of Los Angeles Metro, one of the largest transportation systems in the United States, voted today to award a contract for 60 40-foot all-electric buses to local manufacturer BYD. This was among the largest single contracts for electric buses in US history.

The buses are being assembled in BYD’s factory in Lancaster, California, and will enable the company to add 59 employees.

BYD has been increasing its manufacturing capability around the world, opening assembly plants in Argentina, Hungary, and France.

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’s B-Box to Compete with Tesla’s Powerwall in U.S. Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Going head to head with Tesla’s Powerwall, Chinese new energy technology company BYD is looking to capitalize on the success of its B-Box home power storage system and will introduce the device in the US later this year.

The company will initially focus on east and west coast states, as well as Hawaii, where conventional electricity costs are high, and grid constraints make storage applications attractive.

BYD’s B-Box systems are already on sale in Germany, where it uses nine battery modules for a combined capacity of 11.52 KWh. The modular design enables the capacity of the B-Box system ton be further expanded as required. Up to five systems in total can be connected in parallel.

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 to Supply Solar Modules for Power Stations in U.S.

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese new energy technology company BYD continues to make inroads in the United States. The company has won a multi-million-dollar contract to supply 170-MW solar modules for PV power plant projects in the U.S

BYD will supply 170-MW solar modules to NextEra Energy, a US-based renewable energy project developer.

BYD completed several rounds of quality and performance tests to win the contract.
Speaking at the Solar Power International convention, Tom Zhao, Managing Director of BYD Solar Division, described how the development of BYD’s integrated PV and energy storage program, especially the commercial operation of the world’s first integrated PV and energy storage project in the UK, helped set the stage for the company’s recent breakthrough in the U.S.

“The U.K. project provided real proof that solar can provide power comparable with conventional energy sources,” Tom Zhao said. “BYD not only successfully enables the commercial operation of solar power we also are proactively exploring possibilities in wind power.”

Since its installation a year ago, BYD’s energy storage system powering the 60-MWh project in the UK has operated smoothly, responding quickly to the grid’s demand, matching over 99 percent of aggregate demand with five to six cycles every day. This frequency regulation project is the biggest of its kind in the U.K.

Tom Zhao added that BYD is also in discussions with several global new energy companies about introducing EV-charging infrastructure and other solutions to help create a zero-emission closed loop system, from power generation to energy storage for sustainable consumption.

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.

Stock Swap Gives Berkshire Dividend Increase from Bank of America

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

An additional $8 million a year in income may not mean much in the scheme of things for Berkshire Hathaway, but it proves once again that Warren Buffett know how to make money, even as he struggles to find ways to spend Berkshire’s over $100 billion in surplus.

With an almost $12 billion paper profit from its conversion of its preferred Bank of America stock to common stock, Berkshire Hathaway is reaping the rewards from bailing out the bank in 2011 during the Great Recession.

The move was one of Buffett’s most astute moves of the past decade.

It’s always nice to triple your investment, especially when the preferred shares had also been earning Berkshire $300 million a year in dividends.

But wait, there’s more, as they say on TV infomercials

In swapping the Bank of America preferred stock for a $11.5 billion common stock profit, Berkshire had to give up the $300 million in annual dividends the preferred stock paid. However, Bank of America just raised its quarterly dividend so the amount that Berkshire now gets annually in dividends will be $308 million.

The 66% increase in the common stock dividend came after the Federal Reserve allowed Bank of America and 33 other large banks to increase their dividends and buy back more stock after passing the most recent stress test in June that was required under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Also benefitting Berkshire, which now owns 6% of Bank of America, is the bank’s decision to increase to $12 billion to its share repurchase authorization.

© 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 Launches Commercial SkyRail Monorail in Yinchuan, China

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese new energy technology company BYD’s monorail transportation solution SkyRail has launched its first commercial line in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The SkyRail line, housed under China Flower Expo Park in Yinchuan, officially goes into operation on September 1st.

BYD first unveiled its SkyRail electric monorail plans at the biannual C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City in December 2016.

SkyRail, which is China’s first straddle-type monorail system, was developed out of BYD’s five-year RMB 5 billion R&D project. It is a sustainable and strategic solution to counter traffic congestion in cities around the world while also offering more convenient mobility to urban residents.

Han Jianglong, Vice Mayor of Yinchuan, highlighted the significance of Yinchuan being the first city in the world to launch the BYD SkyRail line, “it is a strategic move for Yinchuan to introduce the green, low-carbon SkyRail to promote innovation, sustainable development and industrial transformation, as well as the improvement of the city’s image.”

As a rail transit alternative with relatively smaller passenger capacity, BYD SkyRail delivers numerous benefits, including low capital cost, short construction period, low noise level and elevated views. It can complement existing public transport systems to create a layered transport system. At the same time, SkyRail provides urban residents with safe, comfortable and fast mobility while making a real difference to alleviate traffic congestion.

“Mass transit systems are an indispensable solution to alleviate traffic congestion in cities”, said BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu at the launch ceremony. “Yinchuan is an important juncture of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. The launch of SkyRail in Yinchuan is setting a benchmark for SkyRail projects to come in other cities, and demonstrates how BYD’s innovative products can help alleviate traffic congestion in urban areas all over the world.”

Since the launch of SkyRail in October last year, BYD has conducted feasibility studies in more than 100 cities worldwide including the city of Iloilo in the Philippines, and has entered into strategic partnerships with over 10 cities in China, including Yinchuan, Guilin, Shantou, Guang’an and Bengbu. Construction of SkyRail lines are expected to begin in 20 Chinese cities in 2018.

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 $2 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..