BYD Co makes rechargeable batteries and cars in Shenzhen in Guangdong province. Founded in February 1995, and listed in Hong Kong in 2002, the origin of the company’s name is uncertain, with some saying it could simply be an acronym based on its Chinese name or from the phrase “build your dreams”. BYD’s profile was raised in 2008 when a unit of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested about US$230 million in BYD.

A charging pole on display at BYD's showroom at its Shenzhen headquarters. Photo: May Tse

Carmakers turn to public sector

New-energy vehicles may be the answer to the worsening air quality in the mainland's major cities, but makers of electric and plug-in hybrid cars are delaying their sales plans in the consumer market in anticipation of a new round of government subsidies for buyers of these vehicles.