Back in 2008, a tiny branch of Berkshire Hathaway bought a 10% interest in China's BYD -- which makes cell phone batteries, solar panels and environmentally friendly automobiles -- for $230 million. Warren Buffett's piece of that company was worth $2 billion by the end of last year as BYD profits tripled and its stock price grew 400%. That's not on the way down, either, as BYD announced a plug-in hybrid vehicle earlier this year and was commissioned by China, in a joint venture with Germany's Daimler, to help that nation's green push by building electric cars. Early estimates have those hybrids and electrics being shipped to Europe by next year; the company is testing a fleet of its F3DM electric cars with the Housing Authority of Los Angeles this year; has an eye toward U.S. electric bus sales by next year; and car sales by 2012.
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