Backed by Warren Buffett, BYD is short for “Build Your Dreams,” but the Chinese electric car maker has dreams of its own, such as dominating the world, or at least local markets.
Previously the company has projected it will become “China’s No. 1 automaker by 2015 and the world’s leading car maker by 2025,” but not wanting to bite off more than it can chew, it has scaled back its ambitious a few notches.
The automaker now wants to become a world-class fish in Hong Kong’s taxi pond. At present, BYD has only six electric e6 taxis running in Hong Kong, across the border from its Shenzhen, China, headquarters, but plans are to multiply this 833 times over in a short span of time.
“We expect to increase the number of e6 taxis in Hong Kong to 5,000 in three years,” Liu Xueliang, said general manager of BYD Asia Pacific sales, in an interview with Reuters.
Hong Kong Taxi & Public Light Bus Association said it is renting from BYD an initial fleet of 45 taxis for around $1,000 (USD) each per month.
In China, BYD sold about 1,700 e6 vehicles last year. They go for around $60,000 and are bought mainly by local governments and taxi companies wanting to engance their green credentials.
Hong Kong’s taxi fleet consists mostly of often LPG-powered Toyota Crowns. Last year, BYD announced plans to export 50 e6 taxis to London.