Chinese company leads the world in the number of electric cars made and is poised to take over the global sales race.
Chinese car giant BYD has announced it has reached a production milestone of six million “new energy” – plug-in hybrid and solely electric – vehicles.
However is yet to catch Tesla in production of purely battery-powered vehicles, as the US car maker built its five-millionth solely-electric car earlier this year.
Tesla still sells more electric vehicles than BYD but the gap is closing, with the US electric-car giant delivering 435,059 vehicles in the third quarter of 2023 (July to September), compared to 431,603 BYDs.
The six-millionth hybrid or electric BYD was a Fang Cheng Bao 5 four-wheel-drive SUV made at the car maker’s Zhengzhou factory in China.
BYD made its first car in 2005, a petrol-powered F3 sedan, and switched exclusively to building hybrid and electric vehicles in March 2022.
It may surpass Tesla as the world’s best-selling electric car maker as soon as the final quarter of this year, at its current trajectory.
That’s led by rapid growth in China – where more electric cars are sold than in any other country – following five consecutive record months of sales for BYD.
It sold more than 300,000 plug-in electric hybrids and battery-electric cars in October, accounting for about one third of the 956,000 ‘New Energy Vehicles’, the Chinese name for plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars, sold.
The result was also double Tesla’s October 2023 China sales, with BYD making up five of the top six best-selling battery electric or hybrid cars.
The US car maker is said to have forecast 449,000 sales in the final quarter of 2023, which will see it exceed its global 1.8 million production target for the year, but short of BYD’s expected 2.5 million total sales – when hybrid and electric cars are included.
According to Car News China, BYD sold 2,381,471 electric vehicles from January to October 2023.
In Australia, BYD is expected to have delivered its 10,000th vehicle of 2023 sometime last month – or 12,000th total in Australia – well behind Tesla’s reported deliveries of nearly 40,000 by the end of October.
Orders have opened for the BYD Dolphin, the cheapest electric car in Australia and the first Chinese car – along with its BYD stablemate, the Seal – to achieve a five-star ANCAP rating under the safety organisation’s latest test protocols.
A BYD plug-in hybrid ute has also arrived in Australia for testing, ahead of its planned launch next year as a rival to the Ford Ranger plug-in hybrid. An electric version is due to follow in 2025.
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