The year of 2015 has seen a fast growth in the electric vehicle market, and consequently in its industry. With steady growth month-on-month, in August 2015 global electric car sales approached 38,000 units globally, a 40% increase as compared to the same month last year. BYD Company Ltd. is responsible for a big chunk of these results: with sales of 5,307 EVs in August, the company not only ranked as the top EV manufacturer for the fourth month in a row, but also the BYD PHEV Qin debuted as the best-selling model – ahead of the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S – making the company a double champion in that month. Another telling sign of the carmaker’s mature technology and market savvy is the presence of its PHEV SUV Tang amongst the top ten in less than three months after its introduction, occupying the 8th position in the ranking of models. As the leading EV brand and the only maker with two models in the top 10, BYD is making a huge contribution to the growth of the Chinese EV market and industry, which in turn is largely responsible for the EV boom in 2015, with a world record of 14,000 units sold in August alone – an impressive 230% surge as compared to the same period last year – a true milestone for both the company and the Chinese auto industry.
Consumers in China and around the world are growing increasingly aware of the consequences of their purchasing choices. Additionally to the mounting environmental pressure on the automobile industry, the recent blow on diesel fuelled cars in the United States and Europe has raised a series of questions as to the future of diesel vehicles, and drawn consumers’ attention to two important factors to consider when buying their next car: emission levels and fuel efficiency. Industries and governments have had to take swift action in response to consumer awareness and shifting demands, by developing improved technologies and creating incentive policies respectively. Internal combustion vehicle manufacturers now have to struggle to meet rigorous emission and fuel efficiency standards, resulting in the growth of alternative technologies that would more easily meet such targets. This scenario is greatly contributing to what may now be called the beginning of the EV age, with the Chinese EV industry – and BYD as its leader – perfectly fit for what lies ahead.
Within this context, and boosted by Chinese Nationals’ growing confidence in China’s industrial capacity, especially in new energy vehicle development coupled with sound government incentives, BYD moves on with its strategy to produce cutting-edge EV technology with world class quality standards in a growing lineup of passenger PHEVs, initially for the domestic market. Following the successful introduction of the SUV Tang in early June, the company is officially introducing its third PHEV, the SUV Song, in Beijing in mid-October. Prior to the official introduction, BYD had launched an online pre-sale of 1,000 units of the gasoline version of the Song, and they were all snatched up in just about one hour. Following in the Tang’s footsteps, the PHEV Song also relies on the BYD “542” strategy for PHEVs – in which “5” means the vehicle’s power to reach 100km/h in under 5 seconds, “4” meaning four-wheel drive, and “2” for its fuel efficiency of 100km with less than 2 liters of gasoline – that define the company’s technological proposition, and will feature in all of its future PHEV models.
The impending addition of the new energy SUVs Song and Yuan to the “dynastic” family – along with the Qin and the Tang – follows BYD’s bold 7+4 electrified transportation strategy, but this time, to cater for the consumer market, since the company already holds the title of biggest maker of fleet BEVs for public transportation, with its buses and taxis running in over 160 cities in 36 countries worldwide. BYD’s 7+4 strategy stems from the company’s view that EVs should not be limited to passenger cars, so the company set out to apply its technological advancement to all forms of transportation – 7 major conventional vehicles: bus, coach, taxi, private car, urban logistics truck, sanitation truck and construction truck (concrete mixer); and 4 specific off-road vehicles for use in the warehouse, airports, ports and mining. Such broad range of electric vehicles is bound to consolidate BYD’s clout in the EV market both domestically and globally, and launch the company to the forefront of EV conception, development and marketability.