Warren Buffett now owns a higher stake in Chinese electric firm BYD than General Motors

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Warren Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway now holds an 8.2 percent stake in Chinese electric car firm BYD, a rival to Tesla. The report to investors said Berkshire Hathway now owns 225million shares in the Chinese company which equates to $232million.

The business is now Berkshire Hathaway’s fourth-largest investment below Apple, Coca Cola and the Bank of America.

Shares of the Chinese electric car firm have risen by more than 300 percent over the past 12 months compared to GM’s 65 percent rise.

The investor holds just a 3.7 percent share in GM which is the 125th largest holding in his portfolio.

BYD sold more than 130,000 electric cars last year in figures almost triple that of electric start-up rival Nio who sold just 43,700 models last year.

Much of its success is down to a massive boost in sales for BYD’s “Han” model.

Demand for the new models has increased every month since its launch last July with over 10,000 units sold in November alone.

BYD said it delivered 4,000 units of the “Han” in August and orders had topped 40,000.

The company has also started 2021 in fine fashion with almost 20,000 models sold in China in January.

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Sales were up more than 183 percent from a year ago with over 9,000 of these sales came directly from the Han EV.

General Motors has confirmed it will accelerate its move into electric vehicles over the coming years in a counter move to the new EV firms.

They plan to end the production of petrol and diesel cars, SUVs and trucks in the US by 2035.

Last year, BYD confirmed it has plans to move into the European market but there has been no official word on UK sales.

However, the “Han” promises long-range and high performance in a direct move to battle Tesla.

The car is capable of up to 376 miles on a single charge and capable of 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds.

Electric car demand in the UK has soared in recent years with sales booming in 2020.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed battery electric car sales were up 185.9 percent last year.

Plug in vehicle sales were also up by 91.2 percent as demand for petrol and diesel cars tanked.

Petrol sales dropped by 29 percent last year with diesel dropping by 55 percent as drivers switched to the new cars.

Electric vehicles are set to surge in the next decade with petrol and diesel car sales banned in the UK from 2030.

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