Send the sales crown to China, Musk.
Finally, an EV maker managed to surpass Tesla. Sort of.
Build Your Dreams (BYD) is a publicly-listed Chinese conglomerate with an automotive arm that produces EVs, PHEVs, and hydrogen-electric vehicles. It recently announced its sales figures for the first six months of the year, and it sold 641,350 NEVs. During that same period, Tesla only managed to sell 564,000 NEVs.
It's an unfair comparison because of China's classification system. NEV stands for "new energy vehicles," including EVs, PHEVs, and fuel cell cars. Tesla only builds pure electric vehicles.
BYD can still be proud, however. The above figure represents a 315% increase in sales over the same period last year. Tesla's sales only climbed by 46% over the same timeframe, which is still mighty impressive.
BYD's sales figures show just how big the EV market in China is. It's no small wonder Stellantis is feeling threatened by growth in the east. BYD estimates that it will sell between 1.1 and 1.2 million cars by the end of the year, of which 600,000 will be EVs. If that's true, it will dethrone Tesla, looking at the figures for the first six months.
While BYD doesn't sell its oddly named vehicles in the USA, it has close ties to America. The phone you're reading this on now likely uses a battery produced by one of BYD's subsidiaries. The links are only set to get stronger, as BYD is closely connected with US startup, Nuro. It also owns an iron-phosphate battery plant in California.
Time Magazine even named it as one of just three automotive manufacturers on the coveted 100 Most Influential Companies list. The other two were GM and Volkswagen.
Its presence in the USA will only grow stronger thanks to its partnership with Toyota. It is widely believed the two companies are working together on the first-ever Corolla EV, which will inevitably end up in the USA. BYD also struck a deal with Shell to provide EV chargers at its stations earlier this year.
The deal with Toyota is particularly interesting because the Japanese firm does not partner with a company unless it can live up to its extremely high standards. For Toyota to trust BYD with the Corolla demonstrates a tremendous amount of faith, and this could well be the EV maker that eventually dethrones the mighty Tesla.