BYD Overtakes Tesla to become world’s top pure electric vehicle seller

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China’s BYD dethroned Tesla to become the top electric car company in the world in the fourth quarter of 2023. The Shenzhen-based company announced sales of 526,409 electric cars between October and December, surpassing Tesla’s 484,507.

Cumulatively, the company has sold more than 3 million cars in 2023, including pure EVs and hybrids. Their goal of being one of the largest car makers in the world has certainly now been achieved, on top of being China’s top auto manufacturer. This is the same company that Elon Musk dismissed in 2011 in an interview when he said:

“Have you seen their car? I don’t think it’s particularly attractive, the technology is not very strong. And BYD as a company has pretty severe problems in their home turf in China. I think their focus is, and rightly should be, on making sure they don’t die in China.”

Read: Geely Auto Starts Delivery Of Flagship Electric Yinhe E8 Sedan

The company was founded in 1995 by a chemist Wang Chuanfu in China’s tech hub city of Shenzhen. They started by producing lithium-ion batteries for mobile phones and supplied them to giants at the time Nokia and Motorola. Their first car called the F3 made its debut in 2005 and their first hybrid called the F3DM in 2008. It is also the same year Warren Buffett made a $230 million investment in the company.

In 2020, BYD launched the Blade battery, a lithium iron phosphate battery or LFP. It is this battery that the company relied on to drive successes in the EV market. They are used in their electric cars starting with the Han. That year, the company sold 130,970 EVs. The rest, as they say, is history.

Another factor that has contributed to the success of BYD is the Chinese government’s huge support of the EV industry. The government offers subsidies to buyers in a bid to encourage them to buy electric cars. Companies on the other hand receive state support in their quest to push their EV technologies forward.

So what next for these two companies? The stage is set for a bruising competition between them. BYD is expanding into Tesla’s key market of Europe. They have plans of launching its first European manufacturing plant in Hungary.

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