Electric vehicles (“EVs”) are poised to take over the world’s roads in the coming decades, replacing internal combustion engine vehicles and helping nations cut down on their carbon emissions. However, although several governments around the world have been pushing for residents to ditch their fossil fuel-powered vehicles for zero-emission electric cars, car owners have been slow to adopt EVs due to a variety of reasons. Some experts say that fleets, rather than passenger vehicles, will be the catalyst for mass EV adoption, and automakers and authorities should include these prospects in their electrification plans. One company that seems to have taken this to heart is Chinese automaker BYD.
Although the automaker isn’t widely known outside of China, it is one of the biggest players in the global EV industry. Founded by billionaire entrepreneur Wang Chuanfu in 1995 and backed by Warren Buffett, the Shenzhen-based company started out in the rechargeable batteries game before expanding to solar panels, mobile assembly and alternative-energy automobiles. As electric vehicles became more mainstream, the company used its expertise to move into the EV space, becoming the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, although American EV maker Tesla later took the crown. Now, BYD is looking to revolutionize public transport by developing top-of-the-line electric buses.
China has an extensive electric vehicle charging network that dwarfs both the American and European charging systems, and a recent study by EV battery charging company IES Synergy predicted that 99% of the world’s electric buses will be in China by 2025. Additionally, the Chinese government has spent billions of dollars propping up the nascent EV sector in a bid to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, providing subsidies and incentives to make EVs more affordable. Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway also purchased a 10% stake in BYD in 2008, providing the Chinese firm with enough additional capital to get its electric vehicle goals off the ground.
With all this support, BYD played a major role in supplying a fleet of more than 16,000 electric buses to Shenzhen, a metropolis in Southern China, a feat that has not been matched by any other automaker. By 2013, BYD had built a facility in Lancaster, California, to produce electric buses, and so far, the facility has sold 1,000 electric buses to the American market. The company has also expanded to Southern America, pledging to deliver 1,002 electric buses to Bogota, Columbia’s capital city, by the first half of 2022.
BYD recently announced that it is now expanding into Scandinavia. The Chinese firm said that it has delivered 76 units to Nobina, the leading regional transport company in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
With publicly traded companies such as Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) focused on facilitating the switch to commercial EVs, it won’t be long before each market segment has its own BYD championing the change.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IDEX
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