BYD: EV? What EV? Anybody Seen An EV?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
byd ev what ev anybody seen an ev

Wasn’t BYD the miraculous Chinese company that would bring electric cars to the masses? Weren’t they supposed to go hundreds of miles on a single charge? Forget about it. So far, their electric cars are being tested as taxis in Shenzhen in low numbers. What if you would be crazy enough to buy one yourself? They won’t sell you one.

On top of the long series of nasty BYD stories, Gasgoo reports now that BYD “may postpone private purchase of its pure electric car, the e6, until next June.” Why? It’s not BYD’s fault, oh no. It’s “due to insufficient infrastructure in China.” BYD emphatically denies that it has problems with the technology.

Nah, there are not enough electrical outlets. According to BYD flaks, “an extensive cooperation and support is needed instead, particularly because the all-electric vehicles that rely more on the charging stations. Lacking in infrastructure will seriously inconvenience users.”

BYD is now officially worried that launching a pure electric car before the infrastructure is there may kill consumers’ enthusiasm for electric cars. Therefore, BYD is considering to launch the e6 car after the infrastructure is mature.

In other words: Not anytime soon.

But what about the BYD F3DM plug-in hybrid? It’s not hampered by nasty infrastructure problems. Therefore, it’s a runaway success. BYD already sold “nearly 300 units of the car,”

If I’d be Buffett, I’d hope my other investments will do better.

Join the conversation
  • Mdensch Mdensch on Nov 05, 2010

    I have to ask: If BYD electrics could go hundreds of miles on a single charge, and I, too, remember them bragging that one up, why would public charging stations be so critical to their success? I also remember BYD promising, and a lot of the "green" blogs believing, that by now the U.S. would be awash in BYD electric cars and main stream manufacturers would be out of business. Smoke and mirrors meets reality.

  • OldandSlow OldandSlow on Nov 05, 2010

    If Berkshire Hathaway are selling their BYD shares, I'll bet they are doing so quietly.

    • John Rosevear John Rosevear on Nov 05, 2010

      Berkshire does everything of significance quietly. They'll tell you all about it in great detail after the fact, but their trading operations and pending deals are as secret as anyone's. It's worth noting that even if they are selling right now, they'll still book a fat profit. WB hasn't lost his touch yet.

  • PlentyofCars PlentyofCars on Nov 05, 2010

    What you are missing is the story about the Chinese government bureaucracy, seizing seven of BYD's brand new car plants, because they were partially built on agricultural land without getting all the proper permits. So they currently have no factories to make the electric cars, until this mess is cleaned up. OUCH !! See link above...

    • See 1 previous
    • PlentyofCars PlentyofCars on Nov 05, 2010

      Except for the fact that it was the plants built for the electric car that were confiscated. Yes, they do have plenty of other factories. Too bad they are tooled for standard cars. Despite what some think, you can't just snap your fingers and have instant electric car plant. BYD also had to wait for all the issues to be resolved before starting over. If the government had changed their mind, they could have just moved forward from where they were.