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China’s BYD is set to take Tesla’s crown as the world’s No. 1 producer of battery electric vehicles

China’s BYD is set to take Tesla’s crown as the world’s No. 1 producer of battery electric vehicles

BYD Seal U electric car at the IAA Mobility 2023 international motor show on September 6, 2023 in Munich, Germany.
Leonhard Simon | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD is on track to overtake Tesla in battery electric vehicle sales this year, with its BEV market share expected to surge, according to a Counterpoint Research report.

“This shift underscores the dynamic nature of the global EV market,” Counterpoint analysts said in the report released Tuesday.

BYD’s second-quarter battery EV sales jumped nearly 21% year on year to 426,039 units, according to CNBC’s calculations. Tesla’s second-quarter deliveries fell 4.8% to 443,956 vehicles.

Last year, BYD’s total production – comprising battery-only powered cars as well as hybrids – was more than 3 million and surpassed Tesla’s production of 1.84 million cars for a second straight year.

BYD, however, manufactured 1.6 million battery-only passenger cars and 1.4 million hybrids, putting Tesla on top in terms of BEV production.

BYD also lost the top EV vendor spot to the U.S. EV giant in the first quarter.

Counterpoint said China “remains a dominant force in the BEV market” with BYD leading the way. China’s BEV sales are estimated to be four times that of North America’s in 2024, the research firm said.

China will continue to hold more than 50% market share of global BEV sales until 2027 and Chinese BEV sales are projected to top the combined sales of North America and Europe in 2030, according to Counterpoint.

Last month, the European Union announced it would slap additional tariffs on Chinese EV firms to tackle the “threat of clearly foreseeable and imminent injury to EU industry.”

BYD will be subject to additional tariffs of 17.4%, Geely will invite an extra 20% duty. SAIC will have to pay additional duties of 38.1% — the highest among the three. This is on top of the standard 10% duty already imposed on imported EVs.

The duties are currently provisional, but will be introduced from July 4, if discussions with Chinese authorities do not result in a resolution, the commission said in a statement on June 12.

“The EU’s new tariff rates for Chinese EVs aim to level the playing field for European EV manufacturers, which are struggling to compete with lower-priced Chinese imports,” said Counterpoint Research’s associate director Liz Lee.

“These tariffs might push Chinese automakers towards emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand,” Lee added.

Global BEV sales are projected to reach 10 million in 2024, coinciding with the continued decline of internal combustion engine vehicles, the report said. The growth will be supported by efforts aimed at improving cost-efficiency and affordability for EVs and EV batteries.

– CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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