Chinese electric carmaker eyes U.S.
By Todd Woody
Chinese electric carmaker BYD will put an electric car on the road this year that goes 250 miles on a charge and intends to bring the vehicle to the United States, a key investor in the company said Tuesday.
“We want to introduce the car in the U.S., ” said Li Lu, founder of LL Investment Partners at Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference in Southern California.
His Pasadena, Calif.-based firm owns 2.5% of BYD and was instrumental in getting Warren Buffett to invest in the electric car company, according to Fortune contributing editor Mark Gunther. (Read Gunther’s recent Fortune cover story on BYD here.)
During a panel discussion on electric car batteries, Lu said BYD could produce a battery that went 300 to 400 miles on a charge. “We can do a 300-mile battery today,” he said. “But it’s really heavy stuff, cuts into the space of the car. It’s a matter of what the consumer really needs.”
If BYD does move into the U.S., it will also build auto factories, Lu noted. “When we come to this country, we will do our manufacturing here.”