An overview of the BYD vs Tesla EV race

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While the annual figures show BYD in the lead with 3.02 million vehicles sold in 2023, Tesla remains the king of the global EV arena. Since BYD has sold nearly twice as many cars as Tesla, it may seem like it fared better. However, that is not at all accurate.

It’s vital to remember that BYD offers battery-only and hybrid vehicles, whereas Tesla solely builds battery-powered cars. Analyzing the data reveals that Tesla manufactured 1.84 million vehicles throughout the year. In contrast, BYD manufactured about 1.6 million battery-only electric vehicles.

Regarding other factors, Tesla continues to lead the race as the household name for electric cars, with 485,000 deliveries for the fourth quarter. BYD can only attribute its profits and success to its overall sales.

Tesla and BYD are just two automakers leading in EV innovation and disruption. The automotive industry continues to push EV adoption to 45% by 2035, and regulatory targets in America and Europe aim for 50%. Tesla enjoys a market capitalization of $1 trillion, exceeding well-known automakers like Toyota, GM, Ford, and Volkswagen.

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Tesla Model 3 Highland (left) and BYD Seal (right).
Tesla Model 3 Highland (left) and BYD Seal (right). Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc. / BYD.

The EV race between Tesla and BYD is not just about the figures but also about the automaker’s experience, types of vehicles, and the leading models.

BYD Auto is a subsidiary of BYD Co. Ltd. and was initially involved in producing mobile phone batteries. Wang Chuanfu bought Tsinchuan Automobile and introduced the BYD F3DM, China’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle, in 2003. The business has quickly grown worldwide and now has several subsidiaries and sub-brands. BYD Auto is traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and it possesses over 30 industrial parks spread across six continents.

The objective of Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning’s 2003 founding of Tesla was to produce the first electric sports vehicle in history. The most well-known subsidiary of Tesla is its sustainable energy branch, Tesla Energy, which makes the Tesla Powerwall smart energy storage system for homes. Tesla reported $81.5 billion in revenue in 2022 and $96.7 billion in 2023.

Compared to Tesla, BYD Auto has greater experience since it has been in business for over 30 years. It has a significant advantage over other automakers since it began with the production of batteries, which are the foundation of all EVs and has since produced a significantly greater number of vehicles than Tesla.

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The design-refreshed Tesla Model 3 Highland in blue color parked on a beach.
The design-refreshed Tesla Model 3 Highland in blue color parked on a beach. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc. (TSLA).

Since March 2022, BYD Auto has shifted its focus from manufacturing internal combustion engine cars (ICE) to electric and hybrid vehicles. The firm manufactures electric buses and trucks in addition to automobiles under its brands, Denza, Yangwang, and Fangchengbao. BYD Auto has introduced over 20 cars under the three series: Dynasty, Ocean, and the “e”.

Denza released its electric vehicle in 2014, and in 2023, Yangwang and Fangchengbao unveiled their corresponding lineups. However, the best-selling all-electric vehicle of all time is the Model 3, one of Tesla’s few available automobile variants.

The Tesla Model 3 is reasonably priced, highly functional, sophisticated, and has excellent performance and range. Its recently completed redesign that improved build quality and refinement gave it a sexier appearance and increased the already superb range to almost 400 miles.

Tesla gave its entry-level Model 3 a midlife makeover to keep it competitive, but the upgrades went beyond a new bumper and headlights. Tesla extended the range, enhanced construction quality, and refinement, and introduced even more technology in the new Model 3 Highland.

The dual-motor Model 3 long range is 421 miles, up from 374 in the previous version. The standard rear-wheel drive Model 3 can now travel up to 344 miles on a single charge, up from 305 miles. BYD’s fourth-quarter numbers make the EV race a close call. The automaker is gaining on Tesla, but only time will tell who will ultimately lead the electric vehicle market.

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Jack Shaw
Jack Shawhttps://modded.com/jack-author-portfolio/
With an extensive background in automotive journalism, Jack Shaw brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the table. As a contributing writer for the National Motorists Association, Ford Muscle, Engine Labs and other leading publications, his articles provide readers with expert insights and captivating stories from the automotive world.

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