China’s BYD is now the largest seller of all-battery electric vehicles on the planet, toppling Tesla off the perch it held since introducing the Model S luxury sedan back in 2012.
BYD has just announced fourth-quarter deliveries of about 526,000 all-electric vehicles, up from about 432,000 delivered in the third quarter of 2023. Tesla delivered about 435,000 units in the third quarter, edging out BYD. But Tesla couldn’t keep up, delivering some 485,000 units in the fourth quarter. BYD is now larger.
BYD makes both battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as plug-in hybrids. BYD sold more cars than Tesla for the first time back in the second quarter of 2022. It has been chasing Tesla for the crown of largest BEV seller since then.
BYD did it by going affordable. Its vehicles sell for below $30,000, on average. Tesla vehicles still average north of $40,000, even after all the price cuts of 2023.
Tesla retained the crown for all of 2023. It delivered some 1.8 million, while BYD delivered about 1.6 million BEVs. Overall, BYD delivered more than 3 million passenger cars for the first time this past year.
For Tesla stock, the drop in 2022 was only the price has fallen in a calendar year since the company’s 2010 IPO. Shares gained an incredible 740% in 2020, the year Tesla started selling the Model Y, which likely ended 2023 as the best-selling car on the planet.
The Model Y has been a huge hit. BYD’s growth shows that Tesla’s next model should be a lower-priced BEV. That is what the company has planned, but when the car will hit roads is still anybody’s guess.
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