A large Chinese car company, backed by US billionaire Warren Buffett, has announced that since last month it has stopped producing cars equipped only with thermal engines.
BYD now only sells electric cars and plug-in hybrids (PHEV). For conventional vehicles sold in recent years, the company will continue to produce spare parts.
A PHEV vehicle has an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. These cars use battery-powered electric motors for the first time. Vehicles pass on heat engines when the batteries are consumed.
The Chinese giant has gradually reduced the production of conventional cars as demand for new eco models has grown rapidly. In the last three months of last year, BYD produced only 4,635 cars powered by heat engines alone, 90% less than in the same period in 2020. During the same period, production of “new energy vehicles” (NEVs) increased by five times, at 287,530 units.
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The car brand’s announcement comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping recently said that the Asian state will reach a peak in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and by 2060 China will be neutral in this regard.
Internationally, other car companies that have promised at last year’s Climate Change Conference to give up, by 2024, models of cars equipped only with heat engines are: Volvo, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover.
BYD was founded in 1995 as a battery manufacturer. Since 2003, the company has also been producing cars. Today, BYD is the largest electric car manufacturer in China.
Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s organization, has bought 225 million shares in the Chinese company since 2008, the equivalent of a 7.7% stake.