News that Tesla was usurped in sales by Chinese automaker BYD to start 2022 comes with a significant wrinkle.
BYD, a firm based in Shenzhen and that has long been backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, sold approximately 638,157 electric or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles – which breaks down to 323,519 battery electric vehicles and 314,638 plug-in hybrids – in the first six months of 2022, according to Axios.
The outlet reported that makes for a more than 300% year-over-year increase in sales for a company that Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticized for “not having a great product” during a Bloomberg News interview back in 2011.
Although the wrinkle is a big one: The nearly 315,000 plug-in hybrids are not fully electric vehicles, unlike the 564,743 fully electric vehicles that Tesla sold during the first half of the year, according to website InsideEVs.
China counts both battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids as new electric vehicles, the outlet reported, helping boost their sales numbers ahead of Tesla.
Tesla did have some hiccups in terms of production this year.
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Supply chain issues nagged the company, as did the temporary closure of its gigafactory in Shanghai while the city was locked down during its COVID-19 outbreak, Axios reported.
Fortune Magazine reported that Tesla produced 70,000 fewer cars because of the factory’s full closure and later the occupational limits it endured for the roughly two-month lockdown this spring.
The magazine also said that supply chain issues were avoided by BYD because the company is vertically integrated, meaning that many of its vehicle parts are produced in-house.