The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD has overtaken Elon Musk’s Tesla in the competition to become the best-selling electric car brand globally. BYD made a huge revelation on Monday, revealing that the company sold 526,000 battery-only vehicles in the last quarter of 2023, a record number that increased by an astounding 70% in just December. Over the course of the year, BYD reported selling more than 3 million new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include both hybrid and battery-only automobiles. BYD’s dedication to all-electric mobility is demonstrated by the astonishing fact that battery-only vehicles accounted for approximately 1.6 million of these sales.
Industry experts had predicted that Tesla would sell approximately 483,000 electric vehicles in the final quarter of 2023, with a projected annual total of 1.82 million units. Elon Musk had previously expressed his confidence in achieving 2 million deliveries in 2023, but worries about increased borrowing expenses later dampened these hopes.
The success of BYD can be attributed to its humble beginnings as a producer of rechargeable batteries. In the past, it competed with expensive imports from Japan in this market. Founded in 1995 by CEO Wang Chuanfu and his cousin in Shenzen, BYD initially gained fame for its top-notch batteries that were used in smartphones and laptops. Taking a step further, the company went public in 2002 and decided to diversify its portfolio by acquiring Qinchuan Automobile Company, which was struggling at that time and owned by the government, in 2003. Notably, since 2008, BYD has had the privilege of having Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, as one of its major shareholders.
One of the main reasons for BYD’s success is its vertical integration approach. The company saves a lot of money because it produces its own batteries, which are an expensive part of making EVs. On the other hand, a large number of BYD’s rivals get their batteries from other producers.
With Tesla gearing up to unveil its most recent quarterly numbers, BYD’s recent successes represent a major turning point in the global electric vehicle market and a sign of intense competition in an industry increasingly moving toward eco-friendly and sustainable solutions.