Wang Chuanfu

2 minute read
By Herbert Diess

I first met Wang Chuanfu almost 10 years ago and have had the pleasure of watching how his electric-vehicle company BYD has flourished.

Judging from the impressive buses and lorries I first saw on an early visit to the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, to the various models of BYD cars I test-drove there a couple of years ago—with the chairman as a passenger—to the exclusive electric monorail that took me around the site a few years earlier, Wang’s lofty ambition to transform transportation as a whole is clear. Long before others in the automotive industry were waking up to it, Wang was convinced that electrification was the game to play. His journey hasn’t been easy, but through his long-term and consistent approach, commitment to cost management, and perseverance, BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” has become a leader in the sector, rivaling Tesla and helping make China the top auto exporter last year. 

An engineer by training, Wang is also reshaping the battery supply chain. And his early bets on lithium-iron-phosphate batteries and solar-energy efforts today show he’s not afraid to take calculated risks.

Diess is the chairman of the supervisory board at Infineon Technologies and former CEO of Volkswagen

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