Tesla Is No Longer the World’s Biggest EV Producer

BYD, a Chinese automaker backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has soared past Tesla as the world’s leading electric vehicle seller, according to company filings published Sunday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. BYD sold 641,000 new energy vehicles in the first half of 2022 while Tesla was far behind this number.

What Does The Stats Tell Us?

According to reports, Shenzhen-headquartered BYD sold 641,350 new energy vehicles in the first half of 2022, a 314.9% increase from its sales figures in the first half of 2021. Of those sales, 323,519 were battery electric vehicles.

By comparison, Tesla delivered 564,743 vehicles in the first two quarters of 2022, faltering in the second quarter as a lockdown in Shanghai slowed production at its Gigafactory in the Chinese city.

Why Did Tesla Lost The Crown?

A number of EV makers, including Tesla, Li Auto, Xpeng, and Nio were all impacted badly by recent lockdowns within China, and more specifically in Shanghai. However, BYD’s factories have been able to remain open throughout a series of regional lockdowns as they are largely based away from COVID hotspots like Shanghai.

Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory

Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory 3, responsible for half of its 2021 global production, was shut for 22 days in May because of the city’s COVID lockdown. Even once the factory’s production restarted, it fumbled as it attempted to reach pre-pandemic levels due to ongoing parts shortages.

Will Tesla Regain The Top Position Ever?

Whether Tesla can regain the number one position remains unclear, but the company did sell 936,172 vehicles in 2021. BYD, which is partly owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, also counts as the world’s second-biggest producer of EV batteries having overtaken LG. Owning factories unlikely to be impacted by lockdowns with access to an ample supply of batteries is a very powerful combination.

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