The Chinese battery and auto manufacturer leapt into public consciousness in September, 2008 when Warren Buffett bought a 9.9% stake. Life hasn't been so good since. "BYD has had a rough ride the past couple of years," writes Asia analyst Michael Dunne in Automotive News, "thanks largely to chronic quality issues with its gasoline-powered cars and rapidly fading interest from consumers." It suffered another setback in May, when a BYD e6y electric taxi -- its sole EV -- burst into flames after it got slammed by a sports car travelling at more than 90 miles an hour, killing all three people onboard.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine - Last updated June 06 2012: 9:50 AM ET
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