The world’s largest maker of electric vehicles by sales, BYD, has supplanted Elon Musk’s Tesla, indicating China’s growing supremacy in the industry.
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BYD, based in Shenzhen, sold 641,000 vehicles in the first half of the year, up more than 300 percent from the same period last year.
BYD, which is partially controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has also surpassed LG to become the second-largest producer of EV batteries in the world, trailing only Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, in China.
BYD has surpassed LG Energy in terms of monthly market share since April. This was partially brought on by interruptions at Tesla’s Shanghai facility following a two-month lockdown imposed on China’s most populated city to contain an outbreak of Omicron coronavirus cases.
More severely impacted by the lockdowns than BYD – which profited from the fact that most of its plants are not located in the areas and cities that saw the harshest restrictions – were Chinese EV manufacturers Li Auto, Xpeng, and Nio, along with Tesla.
As Chinese EV makers begin to narrow their focus on export markets, analysts see the rise of China’s domestic auto sector as a precursor to a tectonic shift in the global auto market.
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Last year, more than 500,000 electric vehicles were shipped from China, the largest auto market in the world, more than doubling the number from the year before.