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Electric cars in China – Not yet – Look before you leapfrog

THE main road at the headquarters of BYD, a Chinese car and battery firm in Shenzhen, seems to go on for ever. It winds from gleaming offices past enormous factories and dormitories to a renewable-energy plant and test track. Visitors can take the E6, the firm’s new electric car, for a drive—but try to accelerate and the engineers get nervous. Like the firm, the car is sluggish.

BYD was once ballyhooed; Warren Buffett bought some of its stock. But sales are anaemic. BYD’s first-quarter profits plunged by 90% from a year ago, to 27m yuan ($4.3m).
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