Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Delivers eBuses to Columbia, Missouri

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD delivered four American-made battery-electric K7M buses to the City of Columbia, Missouri’s transit agency Go COMO.

BYD’s nimble, state-of-the art zero-emission 30-foot K7M battery electric buses, manufactured in the United States, are perfect for helping maintain Columbia’s college town feel, shuttling students and workers to their destinations in quiet comfort.

“We are thrilled to partner with Go COMO,” said Patrick Duan, BYD North America Vice President. “Our American-built buses are well-made, reliable and bring innovative technology to Main Street in communities around the nation like Columbia.”

With the launch of these award-winning BYD buses, Columbia becomes the first city in Missouri to put zero-emission transit vehicles into revenue service.

“We are excited to already have our four new buses in circulation at Columbia. We are dedicated in continuing to provide sustainable transportation options to residents and visitors of Columbia,” said Dale Lynn, City of Columbia, Missouri transportation superintendent.

Working at BYD’s factory in Lancaster, Calif., members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – SMART Union, Local 105 – constructed the innovative and technologically superior K7M for the City of Columbia to include 22 seats, and a range of up to 150 miles. The bus has a charging time of 2.5 to 3 hours.

In August, BYD delivered three K7Ms to another Missouri customer, the Kansas City International Airport, bringing the airport’s total fleet of BYD’s American-made electric buses to seven. KCI was the first airport in the nation to deploy electric buses, using the K7Ms as parking lot shuttles, bringing passengers to the airport’s terminals.

A Profitable EV Company

BYD recently reported a net profit of 1.66 billion yuan (roughly 242 million U.S. dollars) for the first half of 2020. The net profit rose 14.29 percent over the same period in 2019.

Through June 30, BYD had revenue of 60.5 billion yuan, down 2.7 percent year on year, according to BYD’s financial report filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Despite the global pandemic, BYD projects 2.8 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan of net profit in the first three quarters of this year, which would be an increase of 77.86 percent to 90.56 percent from the same period of 2019.

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 sixteen-fold.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

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