BYD QUICK FACTS
BYD now has four industries including Auto, Electronics, New Energy, and Rail Transit successfully expanding its renewable energy solutions globally with operations in over 70 countries.
BYD is the world’s leading battery-electric bus manufacturer with over 50,000 vehicles on the road globally
US author Kurt Vonnegut gave this advice to budding writers: Put on your hat before you start writing because you never know where you’ll end up.
In 1984 when Wang Chuanfu – the son of peasant farmers in rural China – made it into the chemistry programme at Central South University in Changsha, Hunan, he must have had his hat on – because he couldn’t have had any idea where he was going to end up.
In 1995 he founded Build Your Dreams (BYD) a battery company that he would build out to become the biggest in the world within ten years. Since then, he has expanded BYD and integrated it into other industries.
Three months ago, I had no idea BYD existed. But Warren Buffet did. His Berkshire Hathaway company’s investments have made Wang Chuanfu one of the richest men in China. Talk about building your dream.
Chances you have a BYD product on you – in your cellphones. Apart from cellphone batteries, BYD makes cars, forklifts, buses, monorail rapid transit systems, and rubber-wheeled trams. BYD has forged partnerships with Toyota and Daimler Benz
BYD and EVs
But it is BYD’s foray into EVs that is making people sit up and take notice. BYD is parlaying its battery expertise into making EVs better regarding weight, range, and cost. Whereas other automakers are reliant on third-party suppliers for batteries, BYD’s auto and battery divisions are all part of the same R&D process. Its blade battery system is revolutionary, and it has shared the technology with other manufacturers.
In March 2022 BYD produced 100 000 EVs. (Volkswagen SA sold 63 482 cars in 2020). BYD’s target is a million EVs per annum. We’ve all had benefit of China’s economies of scale (cheap Christmas lights at the China Shop), and soon we might benefit in the form of cheap EVs.
BYD’s EA1 or Dolphin is hailed as the first affordable town and city car in the space that Hyundai Getz used to fill, but with a lot more features. In Australia, it costs 35 000 Aussie dollars, with six new Atto3 models due for release there in 2023.
Will we see BYD in South Africa?
The answer is yes and yes.
If you’ve kept an eye open, you would have seen two BYD electric buses on test runs in and around Cape Town.
According to Cars.co.za BYD is planning to release the Atto3 and probably also the Dolphin/EA1. It is unclear if this will be in 2022 or 2023.
How much will the Dolphin cost? Most EVs on offer in SA cost above R1 million. So, the R350 000 price tag sounds extremely attractive. But outright buying might not be the only option if you want to drive on one of Wang Chuanfu’s BYDs.
There is more than one way to build your dream. Watch this space.
30.7 kWh battery, 70 kW motor
- up to 301 km range
- 0-50 km/h (31 mph) in 3.9 seconds
- top speed of 150 km/h
- DC fast charging: 30-80% SOC in 30 minutes