BYD, China’s biggest battery maker, rolled out its first electric vehicle in 2008. In 2010, BYD announced it would bring a pure electric car to the United States, however later the company gave up that idea due to low practicability. Recently, BYD has been trying to keep expanding its market and to sell electric taxis and buses in overseas, such as Poland, Uruguay and U.K.. BYD says it has received orders from these countries, however, the company doesn’t provide any detail information regarding how much or what percentage of those orders has been filled.
This January, BYD told The Wall Street Journal that the company was planning to invest up to $100 million in Brazil to establish a manufacturer, which will be able to produce up to 4,000 electric buses a year.
Although the company has been keep growing the last decade, BYD has met some difficulties selling its product outside of China. Analysts say the reason of that is the consumers in the most environmental friendly countries prefer to purchase more well-known brands.
“The lack of brand recognition for BYD makes it harder to sell in developed markets, where customers are more willing to pay hefty premiums for green vehicles,” said Zhang Junyi, a partner at strategy consultancy firm Roland Berger. “And also, BYD has been trying to expand in too many overseas locations in a short period of time, but the company hasn’t spent enough time to develop the maintenance networks it needs”, Mr. Zhang said.
BYD said the company aimed to place over 1,000 taxis in Hongkong by the end of 2014, with the number increasing to 3,000 the following year. However, for those electric car drivers, charging problem is still one of the biggest concerns. Tsang King Wan, one Hongkong taxi driver who drives the BYD electric cab said, “You need to take a lunch break when the battery is running low to recharge, even though you want to keep working to make more money.”