The transition to electric mobility is well underway. There has been a lot of progress in the passenger vehicle segment over the past 12 years or so since the early days of the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The market share of new electric vehicle sales in China is now close to 30%. The market share is close to 20% in many European countries and is now close to 7% for new vehicle sales in the United States. With rapid improvements in battery technology and the entry of hundreds of automakers into the electric vehicle market, there are now more plug-in models to choose from. More are coming, which is important because people can only buy what’s on the market and so the more models consumers can choose from, the better.
There is now an ongoing debate on many forums and platforms, as well as mainstream media, focusing on what is essentially a Tesla vs. BYD story. But there’s really no need for animosity about it. Both companies play a vital role in helping the world transition to electric mobility. Tesla has a few models that focus on the middle to upper class market segment, as well as its performance and Plaid versions for the very wealthy. Tesla is also primarily focused on rich countries. BYD, on the other hand, has a broader spectrum and offers both high-end vehicles as well as affordable small compact vehicles that also cater to the rest of the world, not just the wealthy. So they basically complement each other.
You could even think of Tesla as the new type Lexus, Audi, BMW, Mercedes (no comments on panel shortcomings etc yet please). BYD can be considered the new Toyota that offers Lexus-like models and Toyota Crown Majesta-like models, as well as Corollas and Civics. Its Corolla and Civic will have a wider reach and be more affordable for more families around the world. There are just more people who can afford a $17,000 small electric sedan like the BYD Dolphin than a $50,000 compact electric SUV like the Model Y. But they both have a place in the market, so it’s not against each other.
There’s been a lot of talk about how Tesla is more profitable and how it makes more money per vehicle. BYD also recently shared some interesting results. BYD, in a report by Reuters, said its “third-quarter net profit would likely have more than quadrupled.” BYD has embarked on the most aggressive expansion program in the industry and aims to bring to market its wide range of battery electric vehicle models as well as its DM-i plug-in hybrid models. After ceasing production of complete ICE vehicles earlier this year and investing in this massive expansion, BYD should be able to unleash the efficiency of its operations and also improve its margins in the short to medium term.
Last month, BYD factories produced 220,107 NEVs compared to 81,575 NEVs in October 2021. NEV stands for New Energy Vehicles. These are battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. BYD’s plug-in hybrids have fairly large batteries (some over 20kWh) using the Blade battery and therefore offer good all-electric range. BYD exports them to South America as well as other places. They are very useful in many places around the world where the charging infrastructure is not yet fully developed.
So far in 2022, BYD has produced 1,411,690 NEVs, according to a company announcement. The company plans to produce at least 300,000 NEVs per month very soon. That’s probably why BYD now has more room to ship its EVs to more markets around the world than other OEMs in North America or Europe can or will. We need all countries to be covered. Tesla covers the rich nations. BYD takes its electric vehicles to rich countries and other countries like Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Cambodia, Colombia, Mauritius and Zimbabwe!
Each new electric vehicle replaces a potential ICE vehicle purchase. Each new electric vehicle also adds to the used vehicle fleet that will replace some used ICE vehicles that would be exported to developing countries. Tesla and BYD have both been very successful and both should be commended and supported. It’s actually Tesla and BYD against the ICE MAKERS!
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