Tesla is the global EV leader, but who’s in second place?Hint, it’s not what you think

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Tesla dominates the global competition and has a sizeable head start over an automaker with a rich legacy and decades of experience. The US electric vehicle (EV) giant offers a wide range of models, with models like the Model 3 and Model Y not only becoming the best-selling EVs, but also consistently topping the charts for overall vehicle sales. But despite its huge lead, Tesla still faces challenges from Chinese manufacturers.

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| Updated on: July 3, 2023 at 09:26

Photographs are archived for representational purposes. (AFP)

China is the world’s largest auto market and the largest electric vehicle market. Almost every automaker either does business here or wants to enter the market. Electric carmakers in particular must compete with a long list of local players in order to enter the huge market. While Tesla is a formidable player, BYD is also taking huge steps.

BYD, China’s largest auto sales brand, sold 700,244 new energy vehicles in the second quarter of this year. These include pure electric models as well as a nearly 50:50 plug-in hybrid, a record for the company. During the same quarter, Tesla delivered 466,140 all-electric vehicles, which also set a record for the company.

Models such as the Han electric sedan (pictured) could be crucial as BYD is looking to expand into overseas markets such as the United States.
Models such as the Han electric sedan (pictured) could be crucial as BYD is looking to expand into overseas markets such as the United States. (Bloomberg)

Tesla does have plenty of reasons to celebrate and cheer. Deliveries in the second quarter of this year were up an impressive 83% compared to the same period last year. It was also reported that the company was able to close the gap between manufacturing and deliveries, suggesting higher demand for Tesla’s electric vehicles.

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While Tesla is bringing Christmas early around the world, it is facing a proverbial rush in China, where BYD stepped up its game. BYD has an updated model lineup. The Shenzhen-based manufacturer also tends to be aggressive with its pricing.

BYD performed poorly in the first quarter, but turned around in the second quarter, selling 251,685 new energy vehicles in June alone.

The Chinese government’s renewed push for electric vehicles and improved infrastructure to bring such vehicles to China’s heartland may also help local players such as BYD more than global brands such as Tesla.

First published date: Jul 3, 2023 09:26 AM EST

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