A Warren Buffet-backed Chinese automaker, BYD, announced this week that its battery-powered passenger vehicles’ sales reached 16,301 in March. That’s more than double the number of rival automakers, Nio and Xpeng’s March deliveries. Xpeng had 5,102 deliveries while Nio delivered 7,257 cars last month.
The category that defines new energy vehicles includes pure-electric autos as well as hybrid vehicles. In that category, BYD sold over 23,000 autos last month, adding to a tally of 53,380 cars sold during the first quarter of 2021. For the first three months of the year, BYD sold nearly the same amount of oil-fueled vehicles, 49,394 in all.
The increase in electric auto sales occurs as the automobile market in China is recovering from the pandemic’s effects. The COVID-19 outbreak hit China hard during 2020’s first quarter.
China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that new registrations of automobiles also reached a record high during the first quarter of 2021, hitting an unprecedented 9.66 million registrations. New energy vehicles made up more than 6 percent of that, or 466,000 new car registrations.
During the first quarter of this year, 81.5 percent of new energy cars were purely electric, equaling that of last year’s. But, China still lags behind in the global electric market of automobiles.
U.S. automaker, Tesla, delivered 184,800 electric autos globally in 2021’s first quarter, but Tesla didn’t say out many of those were for China.
A spokesperson for Tesla said, “We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity.”
Elon Musk’s behemoth started making deliveries of its Model Y, a Chinese-manufactured electric vehicle, in January. According to the China Passenger Car Association, It was the third top-selling new energy auto in China during February.
The production capacity at Tesla’s Shanghai factory is currently 200,000 units for its Model Y vehicle.