BYD Reportedly To Supply Lithium Batteries to Shanghai Automotive

August 19, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

According to media reports, Chinese battery and electric car maker BYD Co. has reached an agreement with one of Chinas’s "Big Three" automakers to supply lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicle production. The most likely company seems to be Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC).

The media sources claim that SAIC will purchase BYD’s lithium-ion batteries to power its own Roewe brand of hybrid vehicles. SAIC unveiled plans in July to introduce a hybrid Roewe 750 sedan next year that could improve fuel efficiency by 20% compared with the existing model.

Last year, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., majority owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., invested HK$1.8 billion ($230 million) in BYD, purchasing a 10% stake in the company. That investment is now appears to be worth approximately $1.2 billion.