Maybe Warren Buffett's bet on Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD will pay off after all. That's because the Chinese government just made a commitment to buy lots of advanced-powertrain vehicles through its government-vehicle system in an effort to address the notorious pollution problem in China's largest cities, the Associated Press says, citing China's Xinhua News Agency.
China is committing to have at least 30 percent of its new government vehicles to be either plug-in vehicles, including battery electrics and plug-in hybrids, or zero-emissons vehicles like hydrogen fuel-cell and solar-powered vehicles. That 30-percent rate will run from this year to 2016, after which it will go higher. Heady stuff for the world's largest vehicle market.
In 2012, the China State Council passed the New Energy Automobile Industry Development Plan, which set a goal of having a half-million electric vehicle's on the country's roads by the end of 2015 and 5 million in China by the end of the decade. China's progress so far on that goal? Not great. Last year, there were fewer than 7,000 electric passenger vehicles sold in China.
Regardless, BYD cut a deal in March to sell 1,200 electric buses to the city of Dalian, China. And things got better from there, as BYD said in May that the city of Hangzhou ordered 2,000 buses as well as 1,000 electric e6 taxis.