Jul 5, 2022 - Technology

Why China's BYD is a threat to Tesla's EV dominance

Qin Plus DM-i sedans roll off the assembly line at BYD's new manufacturing base
Qin Plus DM-i sedans roll off the assembly line at BYD's manufacturing base on June 30 in Changfeng County, Hefei City, Anhui Province of China. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Chinese automaker BYD, which is backed by Warren Buffett, has surpassed Tesla in sales of electrified vehicles.

Driving the news: BYD sold 638,157 electric or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles in the first six months of 2022, according to company filings published on July 3.

  • The figure represents a nearly 325% year-on-year increase from the same period last year.
  • In June alone, BYD sold 133,762 electric or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles.
  • In the first two quarters of 2022, BYD sold 323,519 battery electric vehicles and 314,638 plug-in hybrids.

Yes, but: All of Tesla's vehicles are full battery electric models. Plug-in hybrids run on electricity for a limited range and then switch to gasoline.

The big picture: Tesla delivered a total of 564,743 vehicles in the first six months of the year, according to figures in their first and second quarter reports.

  • Tesla noted in the reports that it had contended with supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns over the course of the year.
  • BYD's shares have risen 36% since January and the company was able to avoid the lockdown-spurred factory closures, Business Insider reported.
  • Tesla, however, was forced to temporarily close its factory in Shanghai during a COVID-19 outbreak in the city earlier this year.

Editor's note: This story was clarified to reflect that Tesla sells only full electric models while BYD sells both full electric models and plug-in hybrids.

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