Automaker BYD is Emerging as One of Tesla's Biggest Competitors in China, Latest Vehicle Registration Data Shows

Automaker BYD is Emerging as One of Tesla's Biggest Competitors in China, Latest Vehicle Registration Data Shows

Author: FutureCar Staff    

Recent data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) provides a snapshot of China's best selling vehicles from Oct 1 through Nov 6. The CPCA data also tracks New Energy Vehicle (NEV) registrations in China, which are classified as fully-electric, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles.

Among the top 14 vehicle manufacturers in the NEV category, China's BYD tops the list with registration of 37,168 vehicles, according to data published by news outlet CnEVPost. In second place was global EV leader Tesla, with registrations totaling 11,195 vehicles since Oct 1.

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

BYD, which is based in Shenzhen, is China's largest manufacturer of EVs. The company is backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett. The automaker produces passenger cars, fully-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as electric buses. 

BYD was founded in Feb 1995 as a battery manufacturer. The company is now shifting towards building more EVs. BYD says it's dedicated to building a zero-emission ecosystem and a more sustainable future through electrification. The company's name is an abbreviation for "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 the list of the top 14 NEVs brands. Registrations of new NIO vehicles was 2,852 placing the automaker seventh on the list. NIO's domestic Rival XPeng took the 14th spot with registrations of 1,115 EVs.

The low number of NIO vehicle registrations for the period is not based on declining demand. On Nov 2, Bloomberg reported that NIO has fallen behind on production of about 7,000 vehicles due to covid shutdowns of manufacturing plants in China.

Today, BYD said its launching a new electric brand in the first quarter of 2023 under the name "Yangwang", with its first model slated to be some type of a premium off-road adventure vehicle. Vehicles produced under the new brand will be priced at between 800,000 and 1.5 million yuan ($110,287-$206,763), according to CNBC.

Sales of BYD's EVs have also been boosted by incentives offered by the Chinese central government and local governments.

Last month BYD forecasted a big jump in profit for the third quarter of 2022. The company said that net profit in the three months ending Sept. 30 is estimated to grow between 333.6% and 365.11% year-on-year.

BYD also claims its is the first automaker in the world to have full expertise and intellectual property in the three core EV technologies, batteries, electric motors and electronic controls.

BYD's pivot to building EVs makes the company a bigger rival to Tesla in the world's biggest auto market for the foreseeable future, along with other EV brands Zeekr, NIO and XPeng.

China's new premium electric vehicle brand Zeekr, which is owned by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. ("Geely"), placed 11th out of 14 models with registrations of 2,308 EVs. Zeekr recently launched its second model, a sleek passenger van named the "009".

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

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

FutureCar Staff
FutureCar Staff
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