Tesla and its Chinese rival BYD have each broken their monthly records for deliveries of electric vehicles in China as the global competition between the world’s biggest makers of new-energy autos intensifies.
In September, Tesla, the world’s biggest EV maker, delivered more than 83,000 Model 3s and Model Ys from its recently upgraded Shanghai plant. Tesla had been ahead of BYD in China before Covid-19 outbreaks disrupted production.
BYD made almost 95,000 EV deliveries in September, a record high for the Shenzhen-based company. BYD’s sales, including hybrids, totaled 201,000 units in September, also a record. The rivalry between the world’s leading EV companies intensified this year after BYD abandoned traditional gasoline-powered vehicle production to focus entirely on new-energy cars.
BYD has dominated the Chinese domestic market this year, defying supply-chain disruptions and shortages of chips and raw materials for batteries that have plagued other manufacturers, including Tesla. The company’s monthly sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have risen more than threefold on average this year.
Behind the growth is the company’s ability to produce its batteries and many of the parts its vehicles use, ensuring stability along its supply chain. Tesla, meanwhile, lost ground after suffering production hiccups from Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai earlier this year.
In July, Tesla suspended operations for several days to upgrade its assembly lines for increased production capacity. The company said that its Shanghai plant can now crank out more than 750,000 units a year.
Last week, Tesla said it delivered 343,830 EVs globally during the second quarter. According to calculations based on the association’s data, vehicles from Shanghai made up about 54% of its global deliveries, up from 44% in the second quarter.