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BYD closes in on the world's largest EV maker as buyers flock to cheaper electric cars

Interior of the Model 3 competitor BYD Seal (image: BYD/YouTube)
Interior of the Model 3 competitor BYD Seal (image: BYD/YouTube)
Tesla shipped fewer electric cars than its own forecasts last year, but is still the king on the EV block. The Warren Buffett-backed BYD delivered 1.86 million 'new energy vehicles' in 2022, of which more than 911,000 EVs, riding on the wings of customers looking for cheaper electric vehicles that are nevertheless direct Tesla model competitors when it comes to specs or craftsmanship.

Tesla just informed that it has increased its electric vehicle sales by 40% year-on-year, hitting the 1.31 million delivery milestone out of 1.37 million produced, in itself a 47% increase compared to 2021. This number, however, missed Elon Musk's own goal of at least a 50% EV sales increase. Tesla sold 405,278 cars this past quarter, as opposed to the 431,117 units that industry analysts expected, despite the generous year-end incentives it doled out for the December deliveries.

Despite the delivery expectations miss and the 65% nosedive of its stock price last year, Tesla is still the world's most valuable automaker, with market capitalization equal to several of the next legacy car companies combined. According to Russ Mould, an investment chief at AJ Bell, however, "Tesla's previous gains have been based on delivering super-charged growth," and there might be further downwards pressure on the stock price after it missed the 2022 vehicle shipment estimates.

Out of the Q4 deliveries, Tesla shipped 388,131 of the cheaper Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUV, while the other 5% of sales went to its expensive Model X and Model S performance vehicles. The trend towards more affordable electric vehicles last year, however, benefited none other than Tesla's chief competitor in the field BYD, which is closing in on the world's largest EV maker, but is yet to knock Tesla off that particular perch, despite some initial reporting confusion out of Hong Kong where BYD is traded because of the way China lumps pure EV sales with plug-in hybrids.

BYD reported a top number of electric cars sold in December alone - 111,939 units - an increase over its November deliveries. BYD sold a record number of battery-powered vehicles to taxi fleets and families looking for more affordable electric transportation last year to finish it off with 911,140 such units and 1.86 million "new energy vehicles" (NEVs) in total when also counting the plug-in hybrids it shipped.

Tesla still earns the most per car in the industry, about US$10,000 on average, as BYD bets on vehicles like the Seal sedan, a cheaper and more decked-out Model 3 competitor, to expand its market share. BYD also works on battery innovations like the cheaper and safer blade packs that it may be delivering to Tesla for installing in Model Y units assembled in Giga Berlin.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 01 > BYD closes in on the world's largest EV maker as buyers flock to cheaper electric cars
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-01- 3 (Update: 2023-01- 8)