As we get closer to the announcement of the winners of the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize, we are highlighting the work of the finalists, and following our previous articles about Kopernik, Rural Services Foundation, Off Grid Electric, and others, this next profile is about one of the finalists in the Large Corporations category, BYD.
While Tesla Motors seems to have taken the top slot in electric vehicle name recognition, it doesn't hold a candle to what BYD does, even though the 'man on the street' may be more likely to know the Tesla brand than that of BYD, which is actually one of the top manufacturers of electric vehicles in the world.
BYD, after its initial start producing rechargeable batteries for mobile devices, has now grown to include the production of electric buses, hybrids, EVs, EV batteries, and gas-powered cars, and is well positioned to continue to electrify the transportation sector, while also transforming the battery storage market. The company's founder and CEO, Wang Chuanfu, who has gone from a poor farmer's son to the richest man in China thanks to his company, was chosen for a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Zayed Future Energy Prize.
According to the company's website, BYD currently has about 180,000 employees and 22 industrial parks, and in addition to EVs and batteries, is also working in solar, LED lighting, and other cleantech applications. BYD, which is said to be worth more than $11 billion, is the third-largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer, and its energy storage systems are said to account for 23% of all globally commissioned energy storage capacity (excluding pumped hydro and compressed air energy storage systems).
Most recently, BYD's CEO brought a message about the impact of clean transport to the COP21 summit in Paris, saying, “Our message from the private sector is that we have been working hard to prepare for decades and now we have technologies that substitute equally with their fossil fuel competition. A great example is our transit bus product line. Our 40’ transit bus can travel as far on one charge as a diesel bus does on any daily route, but with no emissions or pollution and while saving operators thousands of dollars each week!”
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