After dominating the electric vehicle sector for more than a decade, Tesla has finally been dethroned as the top-producing electric vehicle firm in the world. BYD Auto, a Shenzhen-based and Warren Buffet-backed automaker, has overtaken Tesla as the most prominent maker of EVs on the globe. Tesla’s production figures were undoubtedly impacted by supply chain disruptions and the closure of Gigafactory Shanghai because of COVID-19-related safety measures.
Company filings show that BYD delivered 641,350 alternative energy cars over the first half of the year, a whopping 314% year-on-year increase in sales compared to the first half of 2021. The Chinese automaker sold 77,000 more units than Tesla sold in the first six months of the year, with the Austin, Texas-based, EV maker selling 564,743 electric cars in the same period.
More than 323,000 of the new energy vehicles BYD sold in the past six months were battery electric vehicles (BEVs). BYD has been on quite a roll lately, climbing its way to the top-three EV producers and finally surpassing Tesla in a relatively short time. Last year, industry association data reveals that BYD ranked 13th in terms of passenger car sales. By May, BYD was among the top-three automakers in its home country of China and was gunning for global supremacy.
Producing more battery and hybrid electric cars has also done wonders for BYD’s shares, causing them to go up by 36% since January and increasing the automaker’s market cap to $149 billion, almost a trillion Chinese yuan. BYD’s meteoric rise has also been aided by efforts by Beijing to get citizens to reduce their carbon emissions. This helped to increase demand for low- or zero-emission vehicles and pushed more people to buy BYD cars.
However, the road hasn’t been easy for the Shanghai-based automaker. In May, BYD found itself subject to a pollution probe into one of its Hunan Province factories after area residents began reporting symptoms such as vomiting, trouble breathing and nosebleeds. Authorities launched an investigation into the company after residents complained that pollutants in the paint used in the Changsha, Hunan facility were causing these symptoms.
BYD shares tumbled by 14% on the Hong Kong stock exchange in the wake of the pollution probe. Despite this, the company’s share prices and production output has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. The company was able to keep a majority of its factories open during a series of lockdowns as the factories were mostly located away from hot spots.
Tesla, on the other hand, was forced to shut down Gigafactory Shanghai for 22 days due to lockdown orders. Even after resuming operations at the Chinese plant, Tesla still hasn’t been able to reach pre-pandemic levels of production because of a shortage of critical EV components.
The speed with which the EV production numbers of Tesla have been surpassed by BYD strongly suggests that other startups, including Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN), may also have a wide market waiting to be conquered if they play their cards well and win the hearts and minds of motorists.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MULN
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