News Outlets Claim Tesla is no Longer Electric Car Sales King, Except Nearly Half the Vehicles Sold By Chinese Car Company Were Hybrids

A number of news outlets have claimed in the last few days that Tesla is no longer the electric car sales king.

The only problem with the claim is that nearly half of the vehicles sold by the Chinese car company that they said overtook them were hybrids.

The Shenzen-based automaker car company, BYD, is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment group.

A July 3 tweet by BYD is likely one potential source of the discrepancy as the company declared, “First half of 2022 we delivered total sales exceeding 640,000 units.”

That was after they announced, “#BYD sold 134,036 new energy vehicles in June, with a YOY increase of 162.7%!”

Chinese regulations consider hybrid vehicles zero-emission too and so 314,638 vehicles out of BYD’s reported 638,157 “EV sales” in 2022 are plug-in hybrids.

Tesla, meanwhile, sold 564,743 vehicles during the first half of 2022, with the sales coming despite the fact that the company scrambled to overcome a lengthy shutdown at a key production plant in Shanghai and other supply chain-related disruptions.

Musk had previously blasted American workers in May and that he expected some “very strong companies” to emerge from China to provide stiff competition for Tesla in the electric vehicle sector in the years ahead.

Many have also noted that over a decade ago, Musk mocked the prospect of BYD being a serious contender.

“Have you seen their car? I don’t think they have a great product. I don’t think it’s particularly attractive, the technology is not very strong,” Musk told Bloomberg at the time.

A 2011 article shows a couple of offerings from BYD that appeared at the Detroit Auto Show and it certainly appears that the cars appeared to be very basic.

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