Automaker BYD is emerging as one of Tesla’s biggest competitors in China, latest vehicle registration data shows

author: FutureCar Staff

BYD’s flagship product, Han EV, was launched in July 2020.

Recent data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) provides an overview of the best-selling vehicles in China from October 1 to November 6. The CPCA data also tracks registrations of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China, which are classified as fully electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

Among the top 14 automakers in the NEV category, China’s BYD tops the list with 37,168 registered vehicles, according to data published by media outlet CnEVPost. Tesla, the world leader in electric vehicles, is in second place, with registrations totaling 11,195 vehicles since October 1.

NEV registrations in China were 110,539 units since Oct. 1, representing a 43.1% year-on-year jump. BYD brand vehicles accounted for more than a third. The company’s vehicle registrations are more than triple the number of Tesla vehicles registered since Oct. 1, as the rate of electric vehicle adoption continues to grow in China.

BYD, based in Shenzhen, is China’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. The company is backed by US investor Warren Buffett. The automaker produces passenger cars, all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as electric buses.

BYD was founded in February 1995 as a battery manufacturer. The company is now turning its sights to building more electric vehicles. BYD says it is dedicated to building a zero-emissions ecosystem and a more sustainable future through electrification. The company name is an abbreviation of “Bring Your Dreams”.

Two of Tesla’s other big competitors in the purely electric vehicle category are US-listed NIO Inc and XPeng Inc. Both companies are on NEV’s Top 14 Brands list. New NIO vehicle registrations were 2,852, placing the automaker seventh on the list. NIO’s National Rival XPeng took 14th place with EV registrations of 1,115.

The low number of NIO vehicle registrations for the period is not based on a drop in demand. On Nov. 2, Bloomberg reported that NIO had fallen behind production of about 7,000 vehicles due to manufacturing plant closures in China.

Today, BYD announced the launch of a new electric brand in the first quarter of 2023 under the name “Yangwang”, with its first model planned to be a type of premium off-road adventure vehicle. Vehicles produced under the new brand will cost between 800,000 and 1.5 million yuan ($110,287 – $206,763), according to CNBC.

BYD’s electric vehicle sales have also been boosted by incentives offered by China’s central government and local governments.

Last month, BYD forecast a sharp increase in profits for the third quarter of 2022. The company said net profit in the three months ending September 30 is expected to grow between 333.6% and 365.11% from a year to year.

BYD also claims that it is the first automaker in the world to have comprehensive expertise and intellectual property in the three core electric vehicle technologies, batteries, electric motors and electronic controls.

BYD’s pivot to building electric vehicles makes the company a bigger rival to Tesla in the world’s biggest auto market for the foreseeable future, alongside other electric vehicle brands Zeekr, NIO and XPeng.

New Chinese premium electric vehicle brand Zeekr, which is owned by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. (“Geely”), ranked 11th out of 14 models with registrations of 2,308 electric vehicles. Zeekr recently launched its second model, a stylish minivan named “009”.

Zeekr’s new multi-passenger electric van (MPV) will be the world’s first vehicle powered by an advanced battery developed by battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd. (CATL) called “Qilin”, which was unveiled over the summer.

The more energy-dense Qilin battery allows an electric vehicle to travel up to 1,000 km (621 miles) on a single charge, according to CATL. The Qilin battery’s impressive range may be a game-changer for the automotive industry and lead to the widespread global adoption of electric vehicles.

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