There was quite a bit of drama on several forums following reports on various media platforms around the world that BYD has overtaken Telsa to become the top-selling EV company. In fact, there was quite a bit of an uproar from some circles that felt that it was not so accurate, since BYD’s sales figures for NEVs include plug-in hybrids and not full battery-electric vehicles exclusively, as is the case with Tesla.
Plug-in hybrids have been dividing opinion for years. Some feel that with so much progress made so far with modern battery-electric vehicles, there should be no need for plug-in hybrids. Some people feel that there is still a place for plug-in hybrids, especially in places where charging infrastructure is not as developed or widespread. Some feel that some owners of plug-in hybrid vehicles rarely use them in electric mode. However, quite a few models from modern plug-in hybrids do have quite good electric-only range.
BYD speaks quite highly of its fourth generation DM-i models (DM stands for Dual Mode, I think). The DM-i models come with BYD’s revolutionary Blade battery, ranging from 8.3 to 21.5kWh, allowing the vehicles to do between 50 to 120km in all-electric mode. To put that into perspective, the first generation Nissan Leaf had a 24 kWh battery and the range was not much more than the 120 km. BYD is already exporting these DM-i models to places like Colombia. Earlier this year, BYD ended production of conventional gasoline-powered cars. Every car it builds now is either one of the DM-i a plug-in hybrid models or a full battery-electric car. BYD really should be commended for ending the production of conventional ICE vehicles.
The full battery-electric side of its business is where its getting really exciting. BYD has recently announced that it is bringing the all new BYD Seal, Dolphin, and the ATTO 3 to the Japanese market. The BYD Dolphin is an affordable hatchback similar in size to the popular Honda FIT and Toyota Yaris. In Australia, BYD’s recent electric vehicle launch was a massive success With a large crowd in attendance not seen since the launch of the Tesla Model 3. The first thousand of the ATTO 3s are already in transit to Australia, with reservation holders expected to take delivery of this affordable SUV soon. But it is BYD’s entry into markets that other top electric vehicle manufacturers are not looking into at the moment that is really impressive and helping take the electric vehicle revolution forward.
Through smart partnerships with local firms, BYD is taking electric vehicles to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. BYD has been in India for a while. BYD recently partnered with REVER Automotive in Thailand, an important market in the region. BYD is now also bringing the ATTO 3 to the Singapore market. The ATTO 3, an affordable small SUV built on BYD’s e-platform 3.0, should be a big hit in those markets. BYD also recently announced that since the start of this year, 1200 BYD Yuan Pro EVs have so far been delivered to Costa Rica, a new record for BYD sales in Latin America. In Africa, one can buy BYD vehicles in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, and other places. It’s really great to see that BYD is bringing all-electric vehicles to South America, Central America, Africa, and several Asian countries. BYD has also announced that it will bring its electric vehicles to the Netherlands, Sweden, and other European nations.
BYD has been ramping up production of EVs and opening new production facilities in China. BYD has shown that it is ready to enter new markets where perhaps other EV companies aren’t so ready to venture into for various reasons. The work that BYD is doing should really be commended. Every new electric vehicle helps eat into the market share of conventional ICE vehicles, and we need as many EVs as we can get to reach all markets as soon as practically possible.
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