Tag Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD ADL Pure Electric Buses Continue to Conquer London

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

On Saturday, February 3, a fleet of BYD ADL pure electric buses took over operation of a fourth London bus route.

Route 153, operated by Go-Ahead London on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), runs an intensive service from before 05.00 to after 23.00 six days a week (with a slightly later start on Sundays). The Route spans many of the City of London’s most congested streets between its termini at Finsbury Park in the north to Moorgate in the heart of the financial district.

The new fleet consists of 11 of the 10.8m BYD ADL Enviro200EV single deckers, similar to others operated by Go-Ahead and now a familiar sight on London roads. The well proven zero emission vehicles entered service successfully and operate from the Northumberland Park Garage in Tottenham, north London. The new buses marked the transfer of the route to Go-Ahead from CT Plus. BYD has supplied the depot with its own-designed and manufactured charging points.

The other three ADL BYD serviced London routes, all with Go-Ahead, are the 521 and 507 from Waterloo and the 360 from Camberwell. Other routes and operators will receive fleets of BYD ADL electric buses in the coming months following tender wins by the partnership.

“We are delighted to make another significant step in the electrification of London’s bus routes and to be in the vanguard of the transformation. At Go-Ahead we have developed considerable practical knowledge of electric bus operation, gained over six years, and are well positioned to contribute further to the improvement of the capital’s air quality”, said Richard Harrington, Go-Ahead Group’s Engineering Director.

“The smooth switch on of our electric buses to operate another intensive London route is a testament to the strength of our overall offering – not just the proven and reliable buses themselves but of the back up and support of our partners in planning and installing the necessary equipment to make electric bus operation successful from day one”, said Frank Thorpe, UK Country Manager for BYD UK, speaking on behalf of the ADL BYD partnership.

BYD sold over 14,000 electric buses globally in 2017 and, in partnership with ADL, single deck market leader in the UK, its fleets in London, Liverpool and Nottingham have already accumulated well over a million miles of emissions free operation on UK roads.

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.

© 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.

Egypt Chooses BYD’s Electric Buses

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Egypt’s first pure electric bus will begin plying the streets of its second largest city Alexandria in the first half of the year under a new deal signed with BYD. Under the agreement, BYD will deliver 15 units of K9 12-meter pure electric buses and 18 charging poles, to accelerate the transition of local public transportation electrification.

The company won a competitive tender to provide its K9 pure electric buses after a call for submissions was made in April 2017. Countries such as Australia, the USA, UK, Japan and Italy operate the K9 in various scenarios. Powered by BYD’s proprietary battery technology, the K9 has a range of 250 kilometers.

BYD is ramping up its expansion across global markets as cities around the world shift towards more sustainable practices. In the Egyptian capital of Cairo, BYD’s sedan accounts for 40 percent of the city’s taxi fleet; its sports utility vehicle S5 is scheduled for a local launch in March.

Also in the pipeline are plans to assemble electric buses and electric cars in Egypt, construct a BYD SkyRail monorail through Alexandria’s congested city center and possibly develop the country’s solar energy sector.

“The tide is turning towards a greener way of living. We need to give ourselves a fighting chance if we are to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said AD Huang, General Manager of BYD Middle East and Africa Auto Sales Division.

BYD’s new energy vehicles span private, public and industrial use. The footprint has landed in more than 200 cities across 50 countries and regions.

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.

© 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.

13 BYD Pure Electric Midibuses for Italy

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Four city operators in the Piedmont Region of Italy have placed orders for a total of 13 BYD pure electric Midibuses, a new model which BYD only unveiled at the Busworld Show in October.

GTT, the Turin operator is ordering eight Midibuses (which will join its fleet of 20 12m BYD ebuses), AMAG in Alessandria is taking two as is BUSCOMPANY, the operator in nearby Saluzzo and CHIESA in Carmagnola is ordering one.

The buses, which will be built in BYD’s plants in China, are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2018.

“These orders are doubly significant for BYD: they further under line our growing position in the important Italian bus market where we are making progress in the face of strong competition and they also represent a vote of confidence in our latest model, the Midibus”, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director, BYD Europe.

“In fact, in this month alone we are able to announce orders for our largest ever vehicles – two 18m articulated ebuses – from our most northerly customer, Nobina in Norway, as well as these 13 vehicles – our smallest model – for our most southerly mainland European customers in Piedmont.”

He added: “Whether its maximum capacity in a cold climate or manoeuvrable ebuses capable of servicing confined streets in historic southern cities, BYD has the right product!” Mr Ho 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 $1.8 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 Brings Its Pure Electric Articulated Buses to Norway

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Norway’s first electric articulated buses, produced by China’s BYD, began service on route 31E in Oslo Norway on 21 December.

Nobina is the first operator in Europe to put the Chinese produced BYD articulated electric bus into operation. Two 18-metre buses are running on route 31 and 31E, Norway’s heaviest duty routes carrying approximately 15 million customers a year and approximately 50,000 daily travelers. The routes are operated by Nobina on behalf of Ruter (PTA).

“We look forward to gaining valuable experience with these climate-friendly and quiet buses. Line 31 is the first route to try such a concept in Norway. In Nobina, we are very pleased to be able to help drive the switch to green buses in Oslo in cooperation with Ruter. This is an innovative contribution to our service in Oslo,” says managing director of Nobina, Jan Volsdal.

Other electric buses are on trial in Norway but, unlike them, the BYD articulated ebuses do not use opportunity charging via pantographs and street facilities, but charge at the depot.

The articulated ebuses running on Line 31 and Line 31E operate between Grorud and Tonsenhagen, a distance of 17 to 24 km.

“We showed off our articulated ebus concept more than two years ago and we are delighted to see it enter passenger-carrying service,” said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. “Conditions in Oslo are challenging for electric vehicles but we have every confidence that our ebuses will perform well in this heavily trafficked route even in the deep cold of the Norwegian winter.”

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.

Commentary: What Does Sale of DaVita Medical Group Mean for Berkshire Hathaway?

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The news that health services company Optum is purchasing DaVita Medical Group, a subsidiary of DaVita Inc., for $4.9 billion may bring a windfall for Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire has a $2.27 billion stake in DaVita Inc., which works out to roughly 22.03% of the company’s market cap and approximately 23.57% of the institutional ownership, and news of the sale gave Berkshire an immediate paper profit boost of $230 million.

The longer term prospect is good for Berkshire, as well.

According to DaVita, the company plans to use the proceeds from the transaction for significant stock repurchases over the one to two years following the closing of the transaction, as well as to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

“Following this transaction, DaVita will continue to be a leader in population health management, with a focus on our U.S. and international kidney care businesses,” DaVita CEO Kent Thiry said. “We also expect to pursue other investments in health care services outside of kidney care.

Berkshire has long been rumored to be interested in acquiring DaVita, and entered into a standstill agreement with Davita in May 2014, pledging not purchase more than 25% of the company.

And while Berkshire doesn’t reveal whether Warren Buffett, or his portfolio managers Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, purchased or sold a particular security, the push to acquire shares in DaVita is generally credited to Ted Weschler.

It looks like he was right on this one.

© 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 Pure Electric Buses Now in Okinawa

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A fleet of 10 pure electric buses manufactured by Chinese new energy technology company BYD is now in service on the Japanese island of Okinawa, marking the beginning of the island’s electrified public transportation initiative.

A total of 10 BYD K9 buses now run a shuttle service to and from the Okinawa Naha Port. BYD is the only Chinese automaker to enter the Japanese market, and only with pure electric vehicles.

This is not the first time BYD has delivered its e-buses to Japan. In 2015, five BYD K9 buses started running in the city of Kyoto. This time, Japan placed the additional order to operate the K9 fleet in the historic city of Okinawa, which hosts millions of visitors each year.

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 Wins Innovation Award

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

China’s BYD Co. Ltd., the world’s leading supplier of rechargeable lithium batteries, has received an industry award for its high voltage lithium storage system B-Box HV. The versatile concept and its features for high efficiency have been recognized by the industry experts on a jury panel from pv magazine award 2017 for top innovation.

BYD’s B-Box HV drives progress in three categories: with the modularity, the charging and discharging performance and the efficiency. The efficiency had also been tested in a recent storage system performance test and could show impressive results, surpassing the competition.

The B-Box HV lithium storage system was launched in spring 2017 and employs the successful modular design of the B-Box series with battery capacities ranging from 6.4 to 11.5 kWh, providing more than enough energy for the average household and can be scaled up to 57.5kWh for light commercial. The B-Box features excellent efficiency, delivering higher capacity for the best return on investment. The system supports constant 1C and 2C peak charge and discharge rates, and provides best in class useable capacity ratios. As a result it can support household electric devices longer with more power. An innovative connection system allows for an extremely easy plug-and-play installation without the need to connect cables.

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 Electric Buses Rolling in Santiago, Chile

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The first two BYD 100% electric buses are operating in Santiago, Chile. With the debut of the buses, Santiago moves forward as one of the pioneers in the field of electromobility in Latin America, consolidating the new requirements included in Transantiago’s bidding basis.

The electric buses will be operated permanently by Metbus on route 516 and their routes will include the most important arteries of 8 districts of the city. According to the information available, the operational costs will be reduced by 70% compared to conventional diesel buses, reaching a value of 70 Chilean pesos per kilometer, against 300 Chilean pesos for diesel. The full charge of the vehicle has a cost of 19,500 Chilean pesos. BYD’s new energy vehicle footprint currently covers over 200 cities in 50 countries and regions.

Secretary of State, Paola Tapia, stated that “Electromobility is not the future; it is the present we are living today in the capital’s transportation system. We are moving forward in providing quality for users by incorporating the electric buses today, fulfilling the commitment to offer more comfort, greater service efficiency and care for the environment. In 2018 we will have another 90 of these buses circulating; making us electrified public transportation pioneers in Latin America. Our embrace of this technology prioritizes passengers, which forms the basis of the bidding process.” Additionally, Paola said that this strategy highlights the importance of electric vehicles, for their significant contribution to the reduction of pollutants and noise levels in areas of high exposure.”

The Minister of Environment, Jorge Canals, said that “the metropolitan region suffers increased pollution problems during winter, largely by emissions from mobile sources. Therefore, the incorporation of these electric buses comes as a cleaner alternative in urban transport. It is important to emphasize that a vehicle during traffic congestion contaminates 4 times more than one circulating normally.”

The Minister of Energy, Andrés Rebolledo, explained that “the entry of these first two electric buses are great news for a country like Chile, since the transport sector represents one third of the energy consumption, and it imports practically all the fuel used for transportation.”

The General Manager of E-Solutions of Enel Chile, Simone Tripepi, commented that “at Enel we want to be part of the solution of important issues such as the decontamination of cities. Therefore, we have strongly promoted electric mobility in Chile, based on clean energy and lower prices as compared to other fuels. We have the capacity to provide the necessary electrical infrastructure to facilitate the dissemination of electrified public transportation in Santiago and regions.”

Tamara Berríos, BYD’s Country Manager in Chile explained that “One single electric bus prevents the equivalent to the emissions and pollution from 33 gasoline vehicles. So far, BYD has supplied 27 thousand pure electric buses to over 200 cities worldwide, so we are confident that our experience and maturity in this sector will ensure we can successfully deliver a high quality service that will set a new standard of comfort for users and city dwellers in Chile.”

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 Negotiating to Build Monorail in the Philippines

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Just weeks after new energy company BYD announced it is in talks to build one of its monrails in Egypt, the company is looking to do the same in the Philippines.

BYD and the city of Iloilo are currently exploring the possibility of constructing a 20-kilometre SkyRail monorail by 2019.

“Air pollution and traffic congestion are twin problems many cities around the world are faced with,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager for BYD Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division. “We are very excited to bring more of our solutions to the Philippines to create a cleaner living environment for everyone.”

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.

Commentary: Akzo Nobel and Axalta Coatings Merger Would Benefit Berkshire Hathaway

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A possible merger between Akzo Nobel NV and Axalta Coating Systems would give Berkshire Hathaway a major stake in a world-leader in the coatings market.

The Dutch coatings company Akzo Nobel is reportedly in the discussion stage with Philadelphia-based Axalta on a deal that could create a $30 billion coatings behemoth. The discussions have been described as a “merger of equals’ even though Axalta is the smaller of the two companies.

One of the benefits for Akzo Nobel would be to make it too large for takeover by other coasting companies, including PPG Industries.

The potential merger has already benefited Berkshire, as shares in Axalta soared 17% to Friday’s closing price of $33.15 on news of the discussions.

Berkshire currently owns 23,324,000 shares of Axalta, which is approximately 9.59% of the company, and has a value of roughly $745,668,263. 20 million of its stake was purchased in April of 2015 from The Carlyle Group for an aggregate purchase price of $560 million, or $28.00 per share.

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.

Such is the case with Axalta.

© 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