BYD, the Chinese car company backed by investment guru Warren Buffet, has big dreams. The company hopes to be China’s No. 1 automaker in about five years and to be the world’s leading carmaker by 2025. And they plan to get there by selling green cars—as many as 9 million hybrid or plug-in cars a year by 2025, according to company executives. That’s the total number of cars and trucks that Toyota, currently the world’s largest carmaker, sold last year.
To achieve its goals, BYD will have to pick up its pace. Last December, BYD became the first automaker to sell a plug-in hybrid car in the world, but sold fewer than 100 F3DM plug-in hybrids through August, according to Gasgoo, a website reporting on the Chinese auto industry.
The company will have an even bigger challenge selling its e6 all-electric car, which carries a price tag of about $44,000—twice the cost of the F3DM plug-in hybrid. The company will rely on the Chinese government, which has a keen interest in greener cars, to buy the e6 car for fleets, when it introduces the car in China later this year. BYD signed a memorandum of understanding with Volkswagen in May to explore options for partnership on hybrids and electric vehicles.