HONG KONG (TheStreet) -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Report may acquire more shares in a Chinese manufacturer of electric cars and batteries, according to that company's chairman, Reuters reported Tuesday morning.
In remarks to journalists in Hong Kong on Monday, the head of
, whose stock is traded on the Hong Kong exchange, reiterated that the company expects to bring its most-advanced electric car, a five-seater called the e6, to market in the U.S. in 2010, ahead of the original schedule.
Berkshire unit MidAmerican Energy Holdings initially purchased 9.9% of BYD for $230 million in September 2008.
"MidAmerican has always intended to raise its stake in BYD because it believes BYD has good prospects in the development of renewable energy," said Chairman Wang Chuanfu, according to
. Wang added, though, that BYD hasn't yet decided whether it would sell more of the company.
BYD's U.S. launch will be a limited one. The company will sell only a few hundred cars, which will cost a bit more than $40,000, in one specific region of the country.
"In the beginning, our target customers are going to be government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities," Wang told
The Wall Street Journal
According to some industry watchers, the e6 may have had problems with its lithium-ion batteries, though BYD has disputed these claims.
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.