Tesla Is No Longer the World’s Largest EV Seller. Here’s Who Is.

Source: By Lina Saigol, Barron's • Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Shenzen-based BYD has overtaken Elon Musk’s Tesla as the world’s biggest electric vehicle producer by sales.

Warren Buffett-Backed BYD has overtaken to become the world’s biggest electric vehicle producer by sales, even as Covid lockdowns in China disrupted supply chains.

Shenzen-based BYD sold 641,000 new energy vehicles in the first half of 2022, the company said on July 3. That represents an increase of almost 315% year-on-year in the same period last year. In June, BYD sold 134,036 new energy vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 162.7%.

“The performance looks impressive,” wrote Citigroup analyst Jeff Chung in a Monday report. He has the highest price target for BYD stock on the Street at 640 Hong Kong dollars a share, more than double the recent price of 313.60.

By comparison, Tesla (TSLA) delivered almost 565,000 electric vehicles in the first half of the year. In the second quarter, Tesla delivered 254,695 EVs, a drop of 18% compared with first quarter deliveries of 310,048. But June was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history, according to the company.

New Energy Vehicles, or NEVs, in China include plug-in hybrid vehicle that have a internal combustion engine as well as a battery pack that can be charged using an external power source. BYD sells both plug-in hybrids as well as all battery-electric vehicle. Tesla only sells battery electric vehicles.

Tesla still has the edge in battery-only cars, but BYD’s growth is accelerating.

BYD sold 314,638 plug-in hybrids in the first half of the year, up 454% compared the first half of 2021. BYD sold 323,519 battery electric vehicles in the first half of 2022, up 246% from the same period a year earlier.

Tesla’s 564,753 vehicles sold worldwide in the first half of 2022 rose about 46% compared with the 386,050 vehicles delivered in the first half of 2021.

Chung rates BYD shares a Buy. He isn’t alone. Overall, about 91% of analysts covering the stock do. The average price target is about 359 Hong Kong dollars.

BYD’s Hong Kong-traded shares have gained more than 17% this year.

Write to Lina Saigol at lina.saigol@dowjones.com