Build Your Dream: Helping London’s Pollution
By Shlomo Maital
Build Your Dream (BYD) is a Chinese electric-car company, which I’ve written about before. It was founded by a genius Chinese scientist Wang Chuanfu, who invented a revolutionary lithium ion battery, then decided to build cars around it.
BYD just announced (Financial Times, Feb. 10) that it will launch London’s first ever all-electric taxi fleet today (Tuesday). It thus beats London Mayor Boris Johnson’s deadline for all London’s taxis to be zero-emission by 2018.
BYD has thus won the race against Nissan, and London Taxi Company (LTC, which makes the iconic black London cabs). LTC is now owned by the Chinese carmaker Geely.
The BYD cabs can be ordered by smartphone apps (like Hailo and Uber); they have a range of 186 miles and will use a network of battery chargers installed by British Gas across London.
BYD currently runs fleets of all-electric taxis across China, in Colombia, Hong Kong, and soon in Singapore.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns a 10 per cent stake in BYD. Earlier BYD supplied London’s first-ever fully-electric buses.
Mayor Johnson’s office says taxis create a third of all the exhaust emissions in London.