Category Archives: Minority Stock Positions

Link Transit Purchases 8 More BYD Battery-Electric Buses

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD has announced that Wenatchee, Washington-based Link Transit has purchased eight additional 30-foot American-made BYD battery-electric buses, building on Link’s long commitment to energy-saving, zero-emission transit technology.

The eight new BYD buses will complement Link’s growing all-electric fleet of 12 30- and 35-foot vehicles, with three additional 35-foot buses on order. Once the new vehicles are delivered, nearly half of Link’s total heavy-duty fleet of 48 vehicles will be all electric.

“We’re thankful for our partnership with Link Transit and to have the opportunity to provide their community with state-of-the-art clean-technology vehicles that are redefining public transportation,” said Patrick Duan, BYD’s Senior Vice President of Operations.

The eight new buses are being built by BYD at its Lancaster, California, Coach & Bus Manufacturing facility.
Every American-built, zero-emission BYD bus eliminates approximately 1,690 tons of carbon dioxide over its 12-year lifespan, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. This is equivalent to taking 27 cars off the road. Each bus also eliminates 10 tons of nitrogen oxides and 350 pounds of diesel particulate matter, improving air quality in the communities that they serve.

“These vehicles have been a tremendous success for us. Without opportunity charging, we’re seeing a range of 190 usable miles. With our Momentum Dynamics wireless opportunity chargers, we are extending this range to over 300 miles per day by charging the vehicles for 5 to 7 minutes 4 – 5 times per day while the vehicle is in the terminal on its hourly end of run lay-over. We have succeeded in replacing our diesel buses with our BYD buses on a one-to-one basis. We use these vehicles for all of our urban routes, in everyday use, with significantly lower operating costs. BYD has been great to work with,” said Richard DeRock, General Manager of Link Transit.

The Link Transit battery-electric fleet in 2022, averages 44 cents a mile in total operating costs, versus 88 cents a mile for its diesel vehicles. (With the recent run-up of diesel prices, the cost per mile has increased to 92 cents).

DeRock noted that the battery-electric buses have been particularly effective in navigating the extreme climate conditions within Link Transit’s service area. “It’s a very challenging operating environment – our winters are cold, and we can see 100 degrees in the summer. Finding vehicles that can maintain their effective range under these conditions is critically important,” he said.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.

Berkshire Hathaway Adds to Its Occidental Petroleum Stake

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

A dip in the price of Occidental Petroleum has Warren Buffett resuming his purchases of OXY shares on May 10 and 11.

In its latest Form 4 filing Berkshire made the following purchases:

Common Stock 05/10/2022 716,355 $57.3161
Common Stock 05/02/2022 185,419 $57.3386

After these purchases, Berkshire holds 143,162,392  shares of OXY common stock.

In addition to its over 15% stake in OXY common stock, Berkshire also holds 200,000 series A preferred stock shares and warrants that Berkshire for roughly 84M shares of common stock at $59.624 per share.

© 2022 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 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.

Berkshire Hathaway Adds to Its Occidental Petroleum Stake

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Warren Buffett’s jump into oil and gas producers, which has seen him take huge stakes in Occidental Petroleum and Chevron, continued this week with $350 million of additional purchases of OXY shares on May 2 and 3.

In its latest Form 4 filing Berkshire Hathaway made the following purchases:

Common Stock 05/02/2022 736,516 $55.9957
Common Stock 05/02/2022 2,510,957 $56.7255
Common Stock 05/02/2022 1,918,019 $57.562
Common Stock 05/02/2022 701,626 $58.3745
Common Stock 05/03/2022 20,500 $57.7843

After these purchases, Berkshire Hathaway holds 142,260,618 of OXY common stock.

In addition to its over 14% stake in OXY, Berkshire also holds 200,000 series A preferred stock shares and warrants that Berkshire for roughly 84M shares of common stock at $59.624 per share.

© 2022 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 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.

Berkshire Hathaway Bullish on Chevron

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

In addition to taking a fourteen percent stake in Occidental Petroleum, Berkshire Hathaway has made a dramatic increase to its stake in Chevron in the first quarter of 2022.

Berkshire’s $4.5 billion position in Chevron on December 31,2021, has more than quintupled to $25.9 billion as of March 31, 2022. The move makes Chevron Berkshire’s fourth largest holding behind only its stakes in Apple, Bank of America and American Express.

The position, which was revealed in Berkshire’s latest filing, comes as the oil and gas giant quadrupled its earnings in the first quarter of 2022, its highest quarterly profit in the past ten years.

Chevron’s stock has rocketed up 31.37 year-to-date and its dividend is yielding 3.63%.

Chevron’s $308 billion market capitalization makes it an easy opportunity for Berkshire to put a large portion of its cash position to work.

© 2022 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 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.

BYD Makes Strategic Moves to Go Into Level-4 High Autonomous Driving

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD has signed key strategic partnerships in order to become a leading provider of self-driving cars.

The company has announced that Horizon Robotics will provide its self-driving “Journey 5” computer chip for certain BYD models set to be launched next year. BYD models equipped with the Journey 5 chip will be available by mid-2023 at the earliest, and BYD is the first car company to announce that it will use the Journey 5 chip in its vehicles.

Horizon Robotics mission statement is “To harness the full potential of AI, we constantly push the boundaries of innovation in AI processors, AI algorithms, AI compute systems and AI toolchains.”

First unveiled in August 2021, Horizon Robotics’ third-generation automotive-grade AI processor Journey 5 is designed for Level-4 high autonomous driving. The company also launched a real-time operating system TogetherOS, which will be fully open to partners along the automotive industry chain.

Kai Yu, founder and chief executive officer of Horizon Robotics, said: “We are proud to become the industry’s first provider of AI processors that enable Level-2 to Level-4 autonomous driving. Horizon is committed to exploring the best human-car interaction experience in both autonomous driving and in-cabin smart system, which we believe is the future of intelligent vehicles. But we cannot do it alone. We open our operating system and toolchains to customers and partners so that they can design solutions catering to their needs and automatically upgrade their software based on our Journey processors.”

In December 2021, BYD made a strategic investment in RoboSense, a world’s leading smart LiDAR system technology company and signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement.

RoboSense is a pioneer in the core technologies of LiDAR hardware, smart sensor software and chips. As the partnership deepens, RoboSense will keep pace with BYD, continuously upgrade the technological capacity in intelligent perception, and form a deeply integrated technology matrix to broaden the vertical coverage across the industry chain and jointly promote the innovation and transformation of the smart new energy vehicle industry.

RoboSense and Horizon Robotics

Also in December 2021, RoboSense formed a strategic partnership with Horizon Robotics to mobilize their respective technological capacity and mass production experience to roll out in-depth cooperation focusing on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous driving, robotics, new intelligent transportation infrastructure and other applications.

Leveraging its leading smart LiDAR software and hardware technologies, RoboSense will join hands with Horizon Robotics to promote the large-scale commercialization of all segments of intelligent connected vehicle.

According to the partnership agreement, based on RoboSense’s second generation smart solid-state LiDAR RS-LiDAR-M1 and Horizon Robotics’ Journey 3 and Journey 5 automotive smart chips, the two companies will collaborate on the development and adaptation of integrated perception solutions for high-level autonomous driving pre-installed mass production. In the future, the partners will mobilize their respective advantageous industry resources to jointly promote the all-round standardized implementation of the domestic intelligent connected transportation industry.

BYD recently announced that it would no longer produce gas-only cars, and its March new energy vehicle sales in China hit a record 104,878 vehicles, as compared to only 24,218 in March 2021.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.

BYD Stops Building Gas-Only Cars

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD has stopped the production of automobiles powered only by gasoline, with the final model rolling off the assembly line in March.

The Shenzhen, China-based automaker will turn its focus to manufacturing innovative battery- electric vehicles, including high-tech battery electric cars and trucks and plug-in hybrids, company officials said.

While EV battery fires have been a concern with some EVs, including the Chevy Bolt brand, which had all its vehicles recalled to replace defective lithium-ion battery modules in Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs, BYD uses its patented ultra-safe Blade Batteries in all its pure electric models.

According to the company, the Blade Battery has successfully passed the battery industry’s so-called “Everest” test – the nail penetration test, which proves it will never spontaneously ignite.

BYD will continue to produce and supply the components for internal combustion (ICE) vehicles so as to continually provide comprehensive service and after-sales support to existing customers.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.

BYD Selects NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion for Next-Generation Software-Defined EVs

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD, one of the world’s best-selling EV brands, is collaborating with NVIDIA on intelligent driving technology.

BYD will use the NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion computing architecture in its new energy vehicles (NEVs) for automated driving and parking, starting in the first half of 2023.

BYD is a leader in the electric vehicle industry, and NVIDIA is a leader in artificial intelligence (AI). The cooperation is an important joint effort in the production and deployment of environmentally sustainable NEVs that become increasingly intelligent with over-the-air software updates.

BYD’s NEVs will feature the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin SoC as the centralized compute and AI engine for automated driving and intelligent cockpit features.

NVIDIA DRIVE Orin, the world’s highest performance automotive-grade SoC, is the AI brain of next-generation vehicles. Delivering 254 TOPS (trillions of operations per second) of compute performance, DRIVE Orin features high-speed peripheral interfaces and high memory bandwidth (205GB/sec) to seamlessly handle data from multiple sensor configurations for safe and secure intelligent driving capabilities. NVIDIA DRIVE Orin achieves systematic safety standards such as ISO 26262 ASIL-D to ensure safe, highly advanced intelligent driving.

NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip

“Software-defined autonomy and electrification are some of the driving forces behind the automotive industry’s transformation. Through the power of AI and the NVIDIA DRIVE platform, BYD will deliver software-defined EV fleets that are not only safe and reliable but also improve over time,” said Rishi Dhall, Vice President of Automotive, NVIDIA.

With industry-leading technologies such as the Blade Battery, DM-i super hybrid technology, and the e-platform, BYD sold nearly 600,000 electric passenger vehicles in 2021 and had achieved a cumulative production and sales volume of electric passenger vehicles over 1.5 million units. In China, BYD has dominated the top sales of electric passenger vehicles for nine times. Leveraging its strengths in technology, quality, and performance over the last 27 years, BYD continues connecting with customers, fans, and partners, through new technology, wisdom, and value, to drive the industry forward together.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.

First North American Public Transit System to Go Fully Electric Uses BYD Buses

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

In the high desert just 69 miles from Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority has become the first public transportation system in North America to go fully electric.

Some 57 of AVTA’s 87 battery electric coaches and buses were built by BYD at its Lancaster Coach & Bus Manufacturing facility. And many BYD’s employees and their families are served by the agency in the Antelope Valley.

In order to achieve its fully electric fleet, R. Rex Parris, the visionary mayor of Lancaster, initially flew to China in 2010 to recruit BYD, and the company then established its first assembly plant in North America in the city.

Formed in 1992 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the cities of Lancaster, Palmdale and Los Angeles County, the AVTA serves that Lancaster-Palmdale area. In 2014, AVTA agreed to purchase up to 85 new all-electric zero emission buses from BYD, officially becoming the first transit agency in the nation to commit to a 100% electric fleet.

“This is an important and wonderful accomplishment,” said Stella Li, President BYD Americas. “We’re proud to have worked closely with AVTA to make this happen and know it’s the beginning of great things for all Californians.”

Portions of the fleet were purchased with the help of state funding, including $28.5 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) administered by Caltrans and the California State Transportation Agency.

Every American-built, zero-emission BYD bus eliminates approximately 1,690 tons of CO2 over its 12-year lifespan, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. This is equivalent to taking 27 cars off the road. Each bus also eliminates 10 tons of nitrogen oxides and 350 pounds of diesel particulate matter, improving air quality in the communities that they serve.

BYD is America’s first battery-electric bus manufacturer that has both a unionized workforce and a Community Benefits Agreement, which sets goals for hiring veterans, single parents, second chance citizens, and others facing hurdles in obtaining manufacturing employment.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.

BYD Enters Australian Passenger Vehicle Market With ATTO 3

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD Yuan Plus, dubbed the ATTO 3 in Australia, the first A-class SUV built upon BYD’s e-platform 3.0, was jointly launched in China and Australia and began pre-sales in Australia.

Two models of ATTO 3 would enter the Australian market with the official guide prices ranging from 44,990 to 47,990 AUD (approximately $32,350 to $34,500).

In the Australian market, Yuan Plus is named ATTO 3. ATTO is inspired by the Attosecond, the smallest time scale unit in physics, which means ATTO 3 is speedy, energetic, and dynamic.

ATTO 3 is the first SUV built on BYD’s e-platform 3.0, specially designed for high-performance electric vehicles with four significant advantages: intelligence, efficiency, safety, and aesthetics.

The e-platform 3.0 improves EV safety and battery performance as well as optimizes the driving experience. It creates a new generation of smart electric vehicles that are more efficient and safer. Concurrently, ATTO 3 is also specially configured with the BYD auto applications for the Australian market.

Embodying BYD’s new design language, ATTO 3 is the first SUV featuring the sporty-themed interior designed by BYD Global Interior Design Director, Michele Jauch-Paganetti, exhibiting the senses of passion and energy for the customers.

BYD’s revolutionary Blade Battery technology comes as a standard in ATTO 3, offering drivers industry-leading safety levels as well as an extended single-charge range capability. Launched by BYD in 2020, Blade Battery is the only battery that successfully passes the nail penetration test, the most rigorous way to test the thermal runaway of batteries. Also, the space utilization of the Blade Battery pack increases by over 50%, compared with that of conventional lithium iron phosphate block batteries, resulting in significant improvements in energy efficiency and range.

Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD Company Limited, said, “2022 will see the accelerated evolution of new energy vehicles and a new start for BYD’s development in the Australian market. This year, BYD will introduce several new energy passenger vehicles to the Australian market.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.

BYD and Einride Ink Largest-Ever Order for Heavy-Duty Battery Electric Trucks Outside of Asia

BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD has sold Swedish freight technology company Einride some 200 Class 8 8TT battery-electric day cab trucks for deployment across the United States. The sale is the largest-ever order of its kind outside of Asia.

BYD will begin delivery of the first vehicles, all assembled in Lancaster, California, in February, with all 200 vehicles set to be delivered in waves over the course of the coming twelve months. Einride will utilize the vehicles to grow their global fleet of connected electric vehicles to serve their U.S. customers throughout key transport regions. Saga, Einride’s technology platform that plays the critical role in ensuring electric shipping is efficient and optimized, will power the full fleet of signed BYD vehicles.

“This historic order will give customers an up-close look at Einride’s industry-transforming intelligent operating system and our safe and reliable zero-emission battery electric trucks.” said Patrick Duan, Senior Vice President, BYD North America. “BYD Class 8 electric trucks showcase a strong combination of cutting-edge high tech and durability providing customers with the performance they desire while setting a new gold standard for driver comfort and safety.”

“As we continue to expand our U.S. operations and provide our end-to-end shipping solution at scale, having an OEM partner that is able to collaborate with us in delivering best-in-class electric vehicles is imperative,” said Niklas Reinedahl, General Manager North America at Einride. “This fleet of vehicles, which will be delivered at an industry leading pace and volume, will allow us to efficiently provide electric, cost-competitive and emissions-free transportation to our customers.”

The majority of the vehicles will be BYD’s 3rd Generation extend range 8TTs, which feature a cab styled by Wolfgang Josef Egger, the renown former Audi chief designer. The stylish air-ride cabs offer improved aerodynamics and energy efficiency alongside a spacious and ergonomic interior. The trucks come standard with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), which includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System and Blind Spot Detection, making driving easier and safer.

The new 8TT Integrates all of the lessons learned from our first- and second-generation vehicles to improve the comfort, effectiveness and robustness of our design.

The trucks are equipped with 563 kWh ultra-safe and reliable iron phosphate battery packs, an Electronic Parking Brake system, keyless entry and push-to-start functions, and will have up to 185kW CCS1 charging capability. The extended range 8TT offers a working range of 200 miles per charge.

The 8TT is a versatile vehicle, capable of performing drayage, regional haul, and distribution work.

BYD battery-electric trucks’ operation is clean, dependable and quiet, and have significantly fewer moving parts than trucks that rely on internal combustion engines.

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, is the leader in battery-electric truck deployments with more than 10,000 trucks in service around the world and over 200 that are hard at work in the United States. BYD battery-electric trucks are deployed across America, from the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland in California to refuse collection services, distribution efforts and port terminal operators on the East Coast.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $7.69 billion as of December 31, 2021.

© 2022 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.