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Chinese Battery Car Maker BYD Launching Electric Buses in Ontario

Maker still promising to deliver first cars to U.S. “soon.”

by on May.07, 2012

BYD could produce its electric bus in Ontario, as well.

After years of repeated delays, Chinese battery-car maker BYD still hasn’t been able to plug into the U.S. market – but it’s getting closer.

The City of Windsor, Ontario has signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 10 BYD 40-foot electric buses for the community’s transit services in 2012 It will become the first City in North America to launch long-range, all-electric buses.

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The agreement also opens talks to bring manufacturing of BYD buses to the Ontario region in the near future. Transit Windsor has the unique distinction of running in Canada as well as in Detroit, making this launch one that serves on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.

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Daimler, BYD Launch New Denza Battery Car Brand

First new product will debut at Beijing Motor Show.

by on Apr.02, 2012

Daimler and BYD launch the new Denza battery-car brand, debuting at the Beijing Motor Show.

Hoping to take advantage of China’s potentially huge battery-car market, Daimler will launch the new Denza brand with its Chinese partner, BYD.

A concept car hinting at what’s to come from the 50/50 joint venture will make its appearance, later this month at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.  Production is set to begin in 2013, the partners revealed, adding that the new Denza brand’s slogan will be “EV the Future.”

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“We have the ideal partner in Daimler. BYD provides experience in battery technology and e-drive systems, as well as bringing EVs into operation on the streets of China,” said BYD’s president, Wang Chuanfu. “In connection with Daimler’s design of premium autos, know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and more than 125 years of experience in automotive excellence, DENZA is on the right track to become the leader in the New Energy Vehicle market in China.”

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China’s BYD Dedicates L.A. headquarters.

Is long-delayed American debut finally at hand?

by on Oct.25, 2011

BYD has finally dedicated its new U.S. headquarters building in Los Angeles.

Chinese battery car maker BYD is taking a giant step closer to finally launching itself into the U.S. market with today’s opening of its U.S. headquarters.

With the debut of the new Los Angeles facility, the company promised to create 150 jobs as it puts a small number of 40-passenger electric buses into operation as shuttles at the Hertz rental office at Los Angeles International Airport.  But precisely when its e6 battery-electric SUV and other models will actually go on sale to the U.S. public remains anything but certain after a series of delays.

Short for Build Your Dreams, the Shenzhen-based maker has run into a number of problems that have seen its sales, earnings – and stock price – plunge over the last year.

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“L.A. and Shenzhen  are definitely the innovation centers for each of our nations,” proclaimed Wang Chuan-fu, BYD’s founder and chairman, during a dedication ceremony that drew an assortment of dignitaries and investors – including Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

The investment arm for Warren Buffett, it currently holds a 9.9% stake in BYD worth $232 million after the two-thirds plunge the Chinese company’s stock has taken over the past year.

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Big Trouble at BYD

Chinese battery-car maker preparing major layoffs, looking for ways to reverse plunging demand.

by on Sep.06, 2011

BYD's dreams have lately turned into nightmares.

The name, BYD, is short for Build Your Dreams, but these days, it’s more like a nightmare for the once-promising Chinese battery-car maker.

With sales this year off by 23%, the maker is planning to lay off as many as 2,600 workers – somewhat ironically, most of them initially coming from its sales and marketing department.  Looking for a way to revive its faltering momentum, the company is exploring the possibility of moving the manufacturer up-market, it says.

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The maker’s problems could cause further delays in its planned entrance into the U.S. market.  Already pushed back by several years, BYD had been hoping to set up a network of stores that would not only handle the maker’s battery-cars and plug-in hybrids but also sell a mix of green technologies ranging from solar chargers to LED light bulbs.

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Hertz, GE Partner to Expand EV Use in China

Taking advantage of China’s shift to battery power.

by on Aug.25, 2011

The BYD e6 is one of the battery cars Hertz plans to offer in China.

Plagued by pollution and saddled with an increasingly massive bill for foreign oil, China is putting a major emphasis on switching to battery power – and rent-a-car company Hertz is teaming up with GE to take advantage of this transition.

Hertz Corporation is expanding its Global EV initiative to China, making it the first global rental car company to offer electric vehicles on three continents.

“China has committed to rapidly expand electric vehicle travel and Hertz is committed to supporting the important EV Pilot City program,” said Mark P. Frissora, the rental car company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Working with our existing rental car network in China and partners such as GE, we are dedicated to helping build the necessary EV infrastructure in China and to create a new transportation solution that employs the latest technology and harnesses innovations being launched in China today.”

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Both Hertz and GE Industrial Solutions will leverage each other’s services, products and client bases to go to market together as business partners.  They plat to co-locate electric vehicles and GE’s EV infrastructure across China. The two companies will bundle EV leasing and charging facilities as a solution, which will be offered to multinational companies and government agencies looking – or forced – to go green.

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BYD Will Sell You LED Bulbs With Your e6 Battery Car

Chinese maker's dealerships will be an all-in-one outlet for the green-minded motorist.

by on Jan.11, 2011

Will the long-delayed BYD e6 finally reach the American market in 2012?

After a series of delays, Chinese automaker BYD is finally getting ready for its formal U.S. retail launch, company officials declared during a news conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

And the truly green-minded motorist will find more than just the e6 battery car and F3DM hybrid once the first in a planned network of regional showrooms open up in early 2012, they proclaimed.  BYD – which stands for “Build Your Dreams” –  wants those outlets to be something of an environmentally-friendly superstore, offering not only battery cars but the solar generation system that can provide power and even LED light bulbs to cut the energy needs of a motorists’ home.

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“Our vision is not just cars,” explained Chuan-fu Wang, BYD’s founder and chairman, speaking through an interpreter.  The goal is to provide, “a truly zero-emission solution, not just for transferring emissions” from the tailpipe to the smokestack.

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BYD Bringing Two Battery Cars To Detroit Show

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker determined to enter U.S. market.

by on Dec.27, 2010

BYD plans to unveil a new version of the e6 battery car, dubbed the e6Premier, at next month's North American International Auto Show.

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker BYD is determined to enter the U.S. market – and it plans to give potential buyers a taste of what’s to come with the two battery-based vehicles it will unveil at the Detroit Auto Show, next month.

BYD will stage two world premieres, including the unveiling of a pure battery-electric crossover, the e6Premier, as well as the S6DM plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

This will mark BYD’s fourth appearance at the Detroit Auto Show, the most significant and widely-watched automotive event in North America.  Observers are betting that the Chinese maker will use its 25-minute news conference to lay out plans for finally launching its much-delayed U.S. dealer network.

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The e6, if it meets expectations, could help overcome the so-called “range anxiety” issue that many experts anticipate will limit sales of pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  While most can only manage 100 miles per charge, even with the latest lithium-ion batteries, BYD claims the e6Premier can manage 186 miles, in city driving and hit a top speed of 87 mph.

Using a variant of lithium technology, known as iron-phosphate, e6 reportedly can recharge in as little as six hours on a household plug or just 40 minutes using a 440-volt fast charger.  The numbers, however, have raised skepticism among some observers.

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Is BYD Ready To Go Bust?

Ambitious Chinese maker’s fortunes take a serious turn for the worse.

by on Oct.27, 2010

Late for an American debut, the BYD E6.

Its name is short for “Build Your Dreams,” but could the “B” in BYD soon stand for “bust”?

It’s starting to look like that for the Chinese firm that started out as a cellphone battery supplier but has morphed into one of that country’s more ambitious, home-grown automakers.

The Shenzhen-based firm, which is backed by American mega-investor Warren Buffett, has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, ranging from recalls to confrontations with Chinese authorities.  But the latest problem could be one that BYD has trouble rectifying.

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The maker reported a 99% drop in third-quarter earnings, this week, triggering an equally sharp downturn in its stock price, which is nearing its 52-week low.  Whether the company’s charismatic founder and chairman, Wang Changfu, can turn things around remains to be seen, but there are few signs of any immediate turnaround.

It wasn’t supposed to go that way.  BYD’s little F3 has been the best-selling car in China this year, but is feeling the pinch of regulatory changes.

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Chinese BYD and Daimler to Develop Electric Car

Shenzhen BYD Daimler will make a new brand EV for China.

by on May.27, 2010

The cost and range of batteries for EVs remains a significant impediment.

BYD Company Limited and Daimler AG today signed a contract creating a 50:50 joint venture called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd. The new firm will develop an electric vehicle for China under a new brand name.

Daimler and BYD will invest RMB 600 million capital for the firm. Chinese industrial policy requires joint ventures to gain access to its protected market.

The Communist central government also has repeatedly stated its desire to rationalize the Chinese automobile industry around Chinese companies.

In a joint statement, both parent companies said that a new generation of electric vehicles developed will capitalize on Daimler’s expertise in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and BYD’s knowledge in battery technology and e-drive systems. No further technical details are available.

The new car will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD, which is China’s fourth largest automaker. Export plans are unknown. However, all nations with industrial policies are attempting to establish local makers and protect home markets for green vehicles, a development that is creating concern among global  market advocates.

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Ambitious BYD inks Battery Car Deal With Daimler

Could appear on the streets by 2013.

by on Mar.02, 2010

BYD is ready to launch the new e6 battery car, and will form a new joint venture with Daimler.

The upstart Chinese car manufacturer BYD is nothing if no ambitious, and it’s willing to take some significant steps to ensure that it can become one of the world’s leading auto companies, including signing up partners such as Volkswagen and, now, Daimler AG.

Short for Build Your Dreams, it remains to be seen if BYD is only dreaming as it lays out a goal to be the number one maker in Asia, by 2013, and world’s biggest by 2020. But, apparently, Daimler AG thinks it may be onto something.

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On the eve of the annual Geneva Motor Show, the Chinese maker signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with Daimler to form a technology partnership with two key goals. The first is to develop a new electric vehicle for the booming Chinese market, and the second is to establish a new brand that the two makers will jointly operate. BYD will also establish a technology center in China for developing, designing and testing the new battery car.

“With this announcement, we have created a win-win business model with complimentary competences,” declared BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu – showing that business clichés know no language barrier.

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