Tag Archives: Stock Portfolio

Largest Private Bus Operator in Vancouver Commits to BYD Electric Buses

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BYD Canada has been awarded an order for zero emission, battery-electric buses by WESTCOAST Sightseeing, the first tour company in Canada to order clean energy buses, and the first to commit to having a 100% clean-energy fleet by 2023.

Battery and Electric Vehicle Pioneer BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and batteries, and the overwhelming global leader in battery-electric buses.

The largest private bus operator in Vancouver, WESTCOAST Sightseeing has agreed to work exclusively with BYD on converting their entire fleet of 90 buses, which will include open top buses, double decks and singles and others. WESTCOAST Sightseeing will also work with city to develop charging infrastructure that will not only benefit WESTCOAST but many other companies that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact.

“Our business is built around the natural beauty of our home and we are especially conscious of the impact our day-to-day operations has on the environment,” said Rob Safrata, Chief Executive Officer of WESTCOAST Sightseeing.” We are proudly working towards a greener and more sustainable future. And adding electric buses and boats is the first step to achieve our goal in 2023 of becoming the first Sightseeing firm in Canada with 100% electric vehicles.”

WESTCOAST Sightseeing recently added Electric Harbour tours to its line of sightseeing products, providing the first Harbor tour on a 100% electric boat in Vancouver.

The BYD battery-electric buses will make an immediate improvement to air quality and noise levels for the B.C. region. These buses alone will deliver a reduction in carbon emissions of some 4,500 Metric Tons of carbon emissions per year based on EPA standards.

“CEO Rob Safrata has long held a clean energy vision and we are excited to be working with him,” said BYD Canada’s Vice President Ted Dowling. “This aligns perfectly with the recent announcement by British Columbia Premier John Horgan for the need to find other ways to reduce emissions.”

BYD is the world leader in zero emission buses.

BYD Canada was the pioneer in Canada and is now the market leader. In addition to this BC order, BYD Canada has buses on order or in operation for Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) in Quebec; Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Ontario; and St. Albert (STAT) and Grand Prairie in Alberta. BYD had more electric buses on the Canadian roads than any other firm.

Investing more than $250 million in North America to date, BYD has delivered more than 270 buses in North America; and sold or leased in excess of 600 buses in total to more than 50 municipal, transit agency, university, airport, federal and other commercial and private sector clients in 14 U.S. states, and across 4 provinces in Canada.

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.

Axalta Coating Systems Parts Ways with Newly Hired CEO After Investigation

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Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. has parted ways with its recently hired chief executive officer, Terrence Hahn, after only five weeks on the job. The dismissal came after an internal investigation turned up conduct that Axalta “believes was inconsistent with company policies.” The chief financial officer Robert Bryant is taking over as acting chief executive.

Berkshire Hathaway currently owns 24,264,000 shares of Axalta with a current market value of $736,655,040. Some 20 million of those shares were purchased in April of 2015 from The Carlyle Group.

Axalta has repeatedly been a failed takeover candidate, most recently from Nippon Paint.

Previously the company fought an unsolicited takeover from paint company PPG, and also held merger discussions with Dutch coatings company AkzoNobel.

Axalta was founded in 1866 as Herberts, the original producer of Standox paint products. Spun off of DuPont Performance Coatings in 2013, it was sold to The Carlyle Group and renamed Axalta Coating Systems. Today the company is a leader in coatings for commercial vehicles.

When Berkshire took its stake in Axalta back in 2015, the company looked like a possible merger candidate with Berkshire’s Lubrizol. However, Berkshire’s never been shy about owning significant minority stakes in companies if they are purchased at favorable prices.

Unfortunately, with Axalta continuing to lose money, it looks more likely that Berkshire will simply exit its position through a third-party acquisition.

© 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.

101 BYD Electric Taxis Delivered to Bangkok

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China’s BYD recently delivered 101 of its e6 electric taxis to Bangkok, Thailand.

The e6 is powered by BYD’s proprietary lithium iron phosphate battery which is renowned for being safe, stable, and fast charging. With just two hours of charging time, BYD cars are able to travel up to 400 kilometers.

The BYD order is one of the city’s largest electric taxi fleet orders, and the company aims to introduce 1,000 pure electric taxis in Thailand by 2019.

The new e6 fleet will be utilized as VIP taxis and as part of a car sharing service.

The official selection of BYD as the provider of the country’s first fleet of pure electric taxis is in line with the country’s ambitions of having 1.2 million green energy vehicles ply its streets.

Taxis and buses are a major source of Thailand’s air pollution. With over 100,000 taxis and around 43,000 buses traversing hundreds of kilometers daily between Bangkok and its surroundings, the area suffers from a high level of vehicle exhaust emissions.

“Electric vehicles are being adopted around the world because they are cleaner and less noisy compared to combustion engine vehicles,” said Sanit Promwong, the Director of the Land Transport Department of Thailand. “We ultimately want our people to have a better living environment.”

Thailand has introduced policies ranging from tariff to corporate income tax cuts to boost the production and use of electric cars in the country.

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.

BYD Plays Major Role in UK Energy Storage System

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BYD is in a lead role of supplying, operating and maintaining two energy storage systems for its key UK customer, Zenobé Energy Ltd. BYD supplied 49MW energy storage systems at Aylesford in Kent and Claredown in Essex to Zenobé.

“BYD’s focus on UK energy storage market started very early, around 4 years ago. We’ve so far contracted more than 350MW energy storage projects in this country alone, and are the No.1 battery storage system supplier in the UK.” said Bin Guo, BYD Energy Storage Global Director, “We think that the UK has a lot more potential and we will continue to provide first class support to visionary partners like Zenobé Energy to meet the growing demand of reliable and bankable energy storage solutions in the UK.”

The assets were utilized by National Grid’s Systems Operator (‘SO’) to supply 24MWh of energy within half an hour enabling the SO to move the frequency on the UK transmission system significantly.

Apart from being the largest energy storage owner and operator in the UK with 63MW of BYD batteries commissioned and operational, Zenobé is also the first owner-operator to raise senior debt on batteries from Santander Bank.

“The outstanding performance of this system proves that our decision of working closely with BYD is absolutely correct.” said Nicholas Beatty a Director and Founder of Zenobé Energy. “BYD was able to work with us and our other suppliers to deliver the system and commission the plants in record times of less than 6 months from signing of contracts.”

“Without doubt, the recent ASDP (Ancillary Services Dispatch Platform) dispatch of these assets by the SO demonstrates the speed of response of the batteries compared to traditional thermal generation equipment. It also evidences the flexibility batteries provide to the SO and other customers.” said Steven Meersman, a fellow Founder of Zenobé.

The UK SO has announced its plans to continue pushing the ASDP platform into the Short-Term Operational Reserve (STOR) market and replace the existing dispatch system with a “flexible, scalable and secure platform”. Over the next 5-10 years, the growing share of renewables will gradually increase the need for flexibility providers such as energy storage.

BYD has delivered nearly 150MW of energy storage projects in the UK to date. BYD’s 1.26MW/1.34MWh standard container energy storage products fit perfectly into the UK’s climate and power grid environment, along with the requirements for new energy power generation.

As the world leading energy storage solution provider, BYD is present in more than 200 cities around the world and was the number one global seller of new energy vehicles between 2015 and 2017.

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.

Commentary: With Investment in India’s Paytm, Berkshire Moving Beyond Technology Aversion

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Insurance, manufacturing, transportation, retail, these are all things Berkshire Hathaway are known for but not technology.

Warren Buffett’s famed aversion to technology has been fading with Berkshire’s $46.6 billion stake in Apple, and now comes word that the company has taken a 3-4% stake in One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of Indian digital payments company Paytm.

In just eight years, Paytm has become India’s leading digital payments platform in country where digital payments are projected to grow five-fold by 2023.

The investment was actually made by Berkshire portfolio manager Todd Combs, and the main thing it shows is that the next generation of Berkshire’s investment management may not stick to a strictly value investing strategy.

“I have been impressed by Paytm and am excited about being a part of its growth story, as it looks to transform payments and financial services in India,” Combs said.

In addition to the investment, Combs will also join the eight-member board of the company, which includes Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Joseph Tsai, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas managing partner Pallavi Shroff, Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing, and Goldman Sachs Asia chairman Mark Schwartz.

“Berkshire’s experience in financial services, and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm’s journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion,” Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma noted.

For a company the size of Berkshire, the $356 million investment in One97 Communications Ltd hardly makes a dent in its mountain of cash, which totaled $111 billion at the end of the second quarter. In fact, it represents just over a week’s profit at the rate Berkshire is currently generating it. However, the investment, while small, shows that Berkshire is both looking beyond the U.S. for investment opportunities and beyond its traditional investment parameters.

© 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.

BYD Selected as a Supplier for Georgia’s Statewide Contracts for Mass Transit

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BYD has been successfully selected as one of the suppliers for the State of Georgia’s Statewide Contracts for Public Mass Transit & Transportation Vehicles, specifically for battery-electric buses.

The resulting statewide contract will be a “convenience” source for all State of Georgia governmental entities, including but not limited to state offices, agencies, departments, boards, bureaus, commissioners, institutions, colleges, universities, as well as local government, municipalities, cities, townships, counties and other political subdivisions of the State of Georgia.

The statewide contract will also be available to other Governmental entities outside of the State of Georgia.

By leveraging the state’s purchasing power, local governments and transit agencies can benefit from the convenience and competitive pricing of these pre-established contracts. Under the purchasing contract, entities can buy BYD:

• Coaches – the 23-foot C6M, the 35-foot C8M, the 40-foot C9M, and the 45-foot C10M;
• Buses – the 30-foot K7M, the 35-foot K9S, the 40-foot K9M, and the 60-foot K11M.

In addition, BYD has been successfully selected as one of the suppliers for the City of Atlanta’s purchasing contract for electric vehicles, which includes battery-electric heavy duty trucks, support/taxi fleet vehicles, and buses. Departments from the City of Atlanta will be able to purchase from this contract, which will ensure competitive pricing and quicker deployment of the zero-emission battery-electric vehicles.

Furthermore, outside agencies will be able to purchase vehicles under a co-operative agreement with the City. Vehicles in this agreement include the following:

• Buses – 30-foot K7M, 35-foot K9S, 40-foot K9M, 60-foot K11M;
• Coaches – 23-foot C6M, 35-foot C8M, 40-foot C9M;
• Trucks/Vans – 5F (Class 5), 6F (Class 6), 6D (Class 6) Step Van;
• Support and Taxi Fleet – e6 Five-Door Sedan

BYD’s medium and heavy duty all-electric vehicles will help Atlanta achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 20% from 2009 levels by 2020 and by 40% by 2030.

“BYD is excited to be working with customers in Georgia and we look forward to growing our presence in the state and improving the air quality for Georgians, “stated Bobby Hill, Vice President of North America, BYD Coach and Bus.

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.

Chattanooga Now Rolling With BYD Electric Buses

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BYD has announced that the Chattanooga Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) has taken delivery of their first three BYD K9 electric buses this week.

“We’re excited about receiving all three vehicles, and getting them out on the streets and tested,” said Lisa Maragnano, CARTA Executive Director. “We’re pleased about the enhanced service CARTA will to provide to the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County through our partnership with BYD and Momentum Dynamics. Our new electric buses charge fast, efficiently and run emissions free all day. We look forward to the expansion of our electric vehicle fleet.”

As an early adopter of electric vehicle technology, CARTA has paved the way for a cleaner, smarter and more sustainable future in the transportation industry.

Earlier this year they received a “Smart City” award for their innovative electric vehicle charging and car share project. The integration of more electric buses will help CARTA achieve their goal of having a zero-emissions fleet.

Chattanooga is aggressively pursuing non-traditional transportation planning and infrastructure.

Momentum Dynamics developed a 200-kilowatt wireless charging system to support zero-emission transit buses in Chattanooga. The system automatically charges as passengers load and unload.

“We thrilled to partner with such a forward-thinking transit agency as CARTA. We believe our zero-emission buses are a perfect fit for their plans to use clean technology vehicles to serve their customers and help keep their region’s air clean,” said Bobby Hill, Vice President of BYD North America, Coach and Bus.

BYD North America also recently announced its joint venture with Generate Capital, Inc., a leading financier, owner, and operator of distributed infrastructure, to launch the first electric bus leasing program of its kind in the United States. The firm is also the first electric bus manufacturer with a unionized workforce at its cutting-edge facility of more than 800 employees in Lancaster, 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.

BYD’s Electric Buses Coming to Montreal

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD Canada has received orders for nine long range, zero emission, battery-electric buses.

The orders came the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL).
RTL will receive five 30-foot buses and STM will receive an order of four of the same model.

The buses will make an immediate improvement to air quality and noise levels in both cities. These buses alone will deliver a reduction in carbon emissions of more than 600 metric tons each year. This will mean a total reduction of 7200 tons over the operating life of the vehicles.

“Long range Electric Battery buses make sense in Quebec,” said BYD Canada’s Vice President Ted Dowling. “We are using Hydro Quebec’s clean electricity to charge our buses overnight. This is the best use of surplus power and will save STM and RTL over $100,000 a year in diesel costs.”

The order from Longueuil was BYD Canada’s first order of heavy duty electric buses in Quebec. Together with STM’s order in Montreal this is the beginning of a large transit transformation to zero emission vehicles in the Province.

“The buses are the first of what we hope will become an important part of the fleets in both communities and others in Quebec,” said Dowling. “This would not have happened without the climate change leadership shown by Mayors Valerie Plante and Sylvie Parent, in Montreal and Longueuil, along with the support of their transit agency leaders in STM and RTL.”

The order puts STM and RTL ahead of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s new carbon pollution regulations for heavy-duty vehicles starting in 2020.

BYD is the world leader in zero emission buses. BYD Canada was the pioneer in Canada and is now the market leader. In addition to this ground-breaking order in Quebec, BYD Canada has buses on order or in operation in Toronto, Victoria, and St. Albert and Grand Prairie in Alberta.

There are over 35,000 BYD electric buses currently in service worldwide.

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.

BYD to Bring its Double-Decker Electric Buses to the US

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Move over London, America’s commuters will soon be riding high.

China’s new energy company BYD will be bringing its double-decker electric buses to the United States.

The company has yet to reveal the city that the buses where the buses will be going into service, but its most likely in California, as BYD notes that its 45’ Electric Double-Decker Coach is eligible for California’s California Air Resources Board Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).

Under HVIP, eligible purchasers will receive a $175,000 voucher, and first-time purchasers through the HVIP program will receive an additional $10,000 off.

The official announcement of the location will be made in Q3, according to the company.

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.

BYD Pure Electric Buses Rolling on Martha’s Vineyard

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

China’s BYD is the Vineyard Transit Authority’s (VTA) answer to soot emitting diesel buses on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

VTA is putting BYD battery-electric buses on the island’s routes right in time for the heart of tourist season.

BYD has delivered five buses and a sixth will be in service by the end of July.

The six-bus order includes four BYD K9S 35-foot models and two K7 30-foot models.

VTA’s plan to convert its entire fleet to pure electric. The VTA has announced it will purchase an additional four BYD buses.

“We are excited to begin transforming our fleet with these six BYD electric buses,” said Angie Grant, Administrator of Vineyard Transit Authority. “VTA is the first transit agency in Massachusetts to commit to going all-electric. This delivery is a milestone for both VTA and our state to begin the shift of electrification.”

According to VTA, it selected BYD for irs first set of electric buses based on BYD’s battery warranty, mile range and selection of sizes and models, which accommodate Martha’s Vineyard’s road network.

“We are thrilled to partner with VTA in helping to create a more sustainable world. Many agencies look to VTA for its industry-leading practices and consciousness. They service an area that is in high demand year after year and they set the bar for forward thinking,” stated Bobby Hill, senior vice president of BYD.

The proprietary BYD Iron-Phosphate batteries that power the K7 and K9S are manufactured in Lancaster, California.

The company’s revolutionary battery is nontoxic, 100% recyclable, fire-safe and incredibly long-cycled. BYD is the first and only electric bus manufacturer in the world to offer a 12-year warranty on its batteries.

The K7 electric bus has a capacity of 22 passengers, while the K9S features a capacity of up to 32 passengers, depending on the precise configuration. The new buses will produce no emissions, make oil changes a thing of the past and offer dramatically lower maintenance costs.

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.