Ocala, Florida Purchases BYD Battery-Electric Refuse Trucks

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD has announced that the City of Ocala, Florida will add five Class 8 battery-electric refuse trucks to its fleet, making it one of the first cities in Florida to adopt BYD’s innovative zero-emission technology.

The trucks will be assembled in the United States with union labor.

BYD, the leader in commercial electric truck deployments in the United States, is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and the global leader in battery-electric trucks with more than 12,000 electric trucks in service around the world.

The Ocala City Council pre-approved the 2021 purchase of three quiet, clean-electric BYD refuse trucks and will buy two more in 2022. The BYD vehicles will replace older- model internal combustion powered trucks that are currently in use.

“The community of Ocala has taken a leadership role in Florida with the purchase of these BYD electric trucks,” said John Gerra, Sr. Director of Business Development with BYD Motors. “All BYD trucks are purpose-built and utilize our proprietary safe battery technology that exceeds the requirements for some of the most rigorous safety-testing programs around the world.”

Ocala officials estimate the operation of BYD trucks will result in fuel cost savings of nearly 78 percent. In addition, with fewer moving parts making them less costly to maintain, the city estimates there will be a cost savings of nearly 75 percent in maintenance costs. The BYD trucks are estimated to provide a total life cycle savings to Ocala of approximately $270,000 and a return on the taxpayers’ investment in under 5 years.

BYD’s Lancaster, California manufacturing facility employs 750 men and women, many are members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union, (SMART), Local 105.

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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