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Chinese BYD didn’t quite overtake Tesla as the first seller of 100% electric cars

Tesla would have lost its crown as the biggest seller of electric cars in the world. In the first half, Elon Musk’s group seems overwhelmed by BYD… which actually also counts its sales of plug-in hybrids.

BYD sold 640,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the first half. The Chinese manufacturer, which counts Warren Buffett among its shareholders, has multiplied its sales by 4 compared to last year.

BYD, king of “electrified”

Tesla is therefore beaten by a group that makes almost all of its sales in China. Elon Musk’s group sold 564,000 vehicles over the same period. The American suffered from March from component supply difficulties and Covid-related restrictions in its Shanghai factory.

BYD, for its part, was relatively spared by these disturbances: its production sites are located in regions less affected by the virus. The manufacturer also has the particularity and advantage of manufacturing its own batteries, which has limited logistical problems.

On another ground, BYD has also overtaken LG, Tesla’s subcontractor, to take the place of number 2 in the world of battery manufacturers, behind the other Chinese giant CATL. If the manufacturer today achieves the overwhelming majority of its sales on its domestic market, its iron health will allow it to accelerate its international offensive.

Tesla remains solid leader in non-hybrid electric

But the nuance, which allows Tesla to keep its crown on 100% emission, is that nearly half of BYD’s sales are made up of plug-in hybrid vehicles: 314,638 out of 638,157 sales, as the specialized site recalls. Electrek.

For its part, Tesla has since its origins focused on the production of 100% electric cars and therefore keeps a significant head start on BYD on this type of model.

Despite a drop in deliveries in the second quarter compared to the first, which breaks with uninterrupted growth for several years, the American group remains on a record month of June in terms of production.

Simon Tannenbaum and Julien Bonnet



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