You may have heard of BYD because the company appeared on the Bloomberg Businessweek Tech 100 list in 2010. You may not have heard of BYD because it was founded in and has only sold main stream electric cars within China. However, change is in the air.
BYD first appeared on our radar when we started Plug-In Motorwerks seven years ago. Though BYD showed much potential in producing electric cars, that potential has now been realized. BYD has gone from being a lithium ion battery producer with electric auto manufacturing ambitions, to the number one selling electric car manufacturer in China.
A History of BYD
BYD was founded in 1995 by Wang Chuanfu. Corporations around the globe were trying to find a way to make the production of lithium ion batteries less expensive. To Wang Chuanfu it was a no brainer, the ‘good old fashioned assembly line’. Rather than using costly robots like Sony and Sanyo did, Chuanfu hired workers and the price of manufacturing dropped drastically. This put the company on the map and eventually led to their next endeavor, manufacturing autos while working on developing mainstream electric cars and buses.
BYD Auto was founded in 2003. In 2008 it caught the eye of billionaire investor Warren Buffett and he invested heavily in BYD. In 2015 BYD Auto sold over 60,000 hybrid and all electric vehicles, making them the world’s best selling manufacturer of light duty plug-in electric cars.
The Future of BYD Auto
What’s BYD’s next move? We can only guess. BYD has already set up shop in America, and through out the world, selling electric and solar paneled buses and electric taxis. Offering light duty electric cars in America would be a logical next step. Perhaps this assumption propels Tesla to race full speed ahead to bring the Model 3 to fruition. In fact, in examining some of BYD’s electric car designs one may note that there seem to be similar features as the Tesla models, the most obvious being the tinted glass roof.
Of note is the fact that BYD is also in a joint venture with Daimler. It has been rumored that Daimler has partnered with Apple to produce the much talked about “Apple car”.
The next few years promise to be exciting in the electric car market! We look forward to reporting on BYD, Tesla, Daimler, Apple and more.