Planar Energy, a Florida based company is planning to complete a pilot production line that will print lithium-ion batteries onto sheets of metal or plastic in a process similar to a producing newsprint. Read this article for more details.
As we suspected last week, reports that Berkshire Hathaway is planning to sell its 10 percent stake in BYD have proven unfounded. Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and David Sokol are in China this week and reaffirmed Berkshire’s support for BYD. CNBC’s Becky Quick is traveling with the Berkshire executives and reported on the events taking place today. View this article to see the video report.
Several media reports have appeared today suggesting that Warren Buffett’s visit to China next week may be due to concerns regarding Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in BYD. Most of the reports cite a Reuters article which seems quite unconvincing. While BYD
One of the major obstacles standing in the way of widespread adoption of electric vehicles is the limited range offered by current battery technology. Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place, has an approach that may be gaining some traction. Better Place is promoting the concept of automated battery swapping where drivers will pull into a service station and exchange their depleted battery for a fully charged unit. The concept is similar to conventional refueling and reportedly takes less than one minute. However, the capital required to build this infrastructure will be massive and battery ranges must still improve in order to make the process viable for long road trips. Read this article for more details.
BYD has encountered a few rough patches lately with cuts to its sales target for 2010 and second quarter profits that were significantly below consensus estimates. These developments have resulted in a sharp drop in BYD’s share price with the ADRs falling close to 52 week lows. Adding to the negative news, Bloomberg reports that China’s Ministry of Land and Resources has accused BYD of illegally building seven factories on 112 acres of farmland that was zoned for agricultural use. The government will make a decision regarding the punishment for the company prior to the end of September. Read this article for more details.