When it comes to carmakers that sell both battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids, the most famous names are ‘Tesla’ and ‘Nissan’; however, there is a company that most people from North America and Europe seem to miss.
BYD, a Chinese carmaker, sold the highest amount of plug-in cars two years in a row. In 2016, BYD sold 100,178 cars globally. 46,905 of these were battery electrics and 53,273 of the cars were plug-in hybrids. Meanwhile, in 2015, hybrid cars sales surpassed electrics fourfold.
None of the cars that were sold are the ‘neighborhood cars’. All the 21,868 Qin plug-in hybrids and 31,405 Tangs can be driven on highways. For example, 20,605 of the older ‘e6’ are battery-electric cars that have a capacity of more than 80 kilowatt-hours.
Along with the highway cars, BYD announced that it sold 13,278 electric buses and 859 battery-electric commercial trucks. In comparison, the Renault Nissan Alliance sold less than 100,000 electric cars in 2016, which were mainly the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe models.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Tesla sold 76,230 Model S and Model X crossover utility cars.
The reason for such improvements for the Chinese company, BYD, might be due to the governmental support. In 2015, the Chinese national and state governments applied incentives to increase the capacity of the registration and purchase of the ‘New Energy Vehicles’. These vehicles must be plug-in cars or just be hybrid.
The BYD’s risky but encouraging ’50-50 hybrid and electric car’ deal can become another reason for customers to buy battery-operating vehicles this year.