Chinese battery and electric vehicle manufacturer BYD shows a model from its Han EV series at the 2020 Beijing Auto Show.
Evelyn Cheng | CNBC
BEIJING – Chinese automaker BYD sold more than twice as many battery-electric cars as the Nio startup that delivered in March.
BYD, which is backed by US billionaire Warren Buffett, revealed Tuesday that sales of its battery-powered passenger cars totaled 16,301 units last month.
That’s more than double the Nio’s March deliveries of 7,257 cars. Competitive company Xpeng delivered even fewer vehicles, with 5,102 units last month. Both companies still exceed analyst expectations with those numbers.
In the new energy vehicle category, which includes hybrid and pure electric cars, BYD sold more than 23,000 units in March, bringing the total in the first quarter to 53,380 cars.
BYD also sold nearly the same number of oil-fueled vehicles in the first quarter, with 49,394 units.
Electric car sales come as China’s auto market recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, which hit the country hardest in the first quarter of 2020.
New motor vehicle registrations in the first quarter of this year rose to a record 9.66 million, China’s Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday. New energy vehicles accounted for 466,000, or just over 6% of newly registered cars, the data showed.
The percentage of new energy cars nationwide that are purely electric was 81.5% in the first quarter, roughly the same rate as in 2020, according to public safety data.
When it comes to the global market, China’s electric car makers still have a huge gap to close.
Electric car market leader Tesla said last week that it delivered 184,800 cars worldwide in the first quarter. While the US electric car maker did not disclose figures for China, the company said in a statement: “We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are making rapid progress towards full production capacity.
Elon Musk’s car company began delivering a China-made Model Y in January. The car was the third best-selling new energy vehicle in China in February, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
Tesla has installed an annual production capacity of 200,000 Model Y units at its Shanghai factory, according to an investor presentation in late January.