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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Recent sales figures reveal that Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD has outpaced US counterpart Tesla to become the leading deliverer of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide.

Originally founded in 1995 in Shenzhen, BYD, or “Biyadi” in Chinese, transitioned from battery manufacturing to the automotive sector in 2003. With strong government support in Shenzhen, where the public bus fleet has already transitioned to electric models, BYD has emerged as a global player in the EV market.

Last year, BYD achieved a significant milestone by surpassing five million units in new energy production, solidifying its position as the “world’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles.” The company’s early focus on clean and electrified public transportation fleets, coupled with generous subsidies from Beijing, has propelled BYD ahead in the global passenger vehicle EV space.

Chinese government subsidies for electric vehicles have played a pivotal role in BYD’s success, with over 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) invested between 2014 and 2022. This support has given Chinese firms, including BYD, a competitive edge in providing cost-effective and fuel-efficient EVs compared to leading US automakers.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, BYD reported sales of 526,409 all-electric cars, surpassing Tesla’s figures of 484,507 for the same period. BYD’s electric vehicles, priced at under $30,000 on average, have contributed to its market dominance, especially when compared to Tesla’s models that typically exceed $40,000.

While BYD faces competition from domestic brands like XPeng, Nio, and Geely in the Chinese market, it has maintained its focus on electric and hybrid vehicles. The company ceased production of gasoline-powered vehicles in 2022 and has expanded its global presence, including a recent announcement of a new EV plant in Hungary.

Despite its global ambitions, BYD’s westward expansion has raised concerns, leading the European Union to launch an investigation into Chinese subsidies for the EV sector. The EU alleges that Chinese state support has negatively impacted local markets and has threatened to impose tariffs in response. BYD’s journey to the forefront of the EV market continues amidst growing competition and geopolitical challenges.

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