It's not quite Elon Musk's vision of a purely electric-vehicle company, but BYD may move away from purely gas-powered cars in an attempt to reverse lagging sales. Yes, you read that right.
The China-based automaker could stop making gas-powered cars within two years and may go solely with hybrids and plug-ins for its light-duty vehicles, Reuters says, citing two BYD executives it didn't identify. As part of the effort, BYD may also get out of the light-bulb and solar-panel making businesses and could target its e6 EV purely for rental vehicles and taxis while introducing new plug-in models.
Last year, BYD sold about 458,000 cars and has seen its share price drop more than 75 percent over the past three years. The company's biggest investor is Warren Buffett, who owns about 30 percent of the company.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February that BYD expected to more than quadruple light-duty plug-in vehicle sales this year on rising gas prices and aggressive government incentives for plug-in vehicles. BYD sold about 1,700 plug-in vehicles last year, and since December reached municipal contracts for its e6 EVs with Bogota, Columbia, as well as its home-base of Shenzhen, China.