China electric-car companies get a boost from prospect of Apple entering the market image

The world’s largest auto market has been very slow to adopt the electric car segment, even after massive investments and incentives from the authorities or the fact that several large cities have already imposed a cap for traditionally powered autos.

What the government and automakers – local and global – were unable to achieve might come in hand to one of the best-known technology giants: Apple Inc. Following the weekend news that reported Apple had set up late last year a lab that would focus on the development of an electric car, Chinese shares of companies related to the development and production of electric vehicles jumped as investors speculated they would get a boost from Apple’s foray into the automotive industry. And, who knows, maybe the global acceptance of electric cars will skyrocket much in the way the smartphone segment did back in the days of the first generation iPhone. For now, BYD Co., a Chinese manufacturer – backed by arren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – saw its stock rise 11 percent in Hong Kong today. Additionally, car-accessory producer Ningbo Joyson Electronics Corp. also rose 10 percent in Shanghai.

Sources that have knowledge of Apple’s strategy said the technology giant was mulling the internal development and production of an electric car, which could also ultimately make part of the autonomous drive movement. “There’s speculation BYD may cooperate with Apple for certain kinds of car parts,” said William Fung, investment manager at Tanrich Securities Co. in Hong Kong. The Wall Street reported that the car’s design is akin to a minivan and that Apple executives had meetings in Austria with contract manufacturers of luxury autos – including Magna Steyr.

Via Bloomberg