Many of the world’s car manufacturers would like to rival Tesla as the king of EVs but according to Elon Musk, a carmaker out of China is the most likely to do so.
Musk made the revelation when asked about Tesla’s Chinese rivals during the company’s quarterly earnings call, Bloomberg reports. He noted that Chinese carmakers “work the hardest, and they work the smartest.”
“If I were to guess, probably some company out of China is the most likely to be second to Tesla.”
Read: BYD Sold 911,410 BEVs In 2022 And Is Closing In On Tesla
As it turns out, there already is a Chinese company that is second to Tesla in the electric vehicle market. This is either news to Musk or he already knew so but didn’t want to acknowledge and/or name that company. It is BYD, of course.
The Warren Buffett-backed car manufacturer has been on a roll in recent years and in 2022, increased its battery-electric vehicle sales by an extraordinary 184 per cent. It sold 911,410 BEVs last year, second only to Tesla which sold a record 1,313,851 EVs. When factoring plug-in hybrids, BYD ended 2022 with 1,868,543 vehicles sold.
While Musk clearly remains confident that Tesla will remain the world’s largest producer of EVs well into the future, some analysts suggest that BYD could overtake its American rival in EV sales this year. Indeed, given that Tesla’s sales ‘only’ increased by 40 per cent in 2022 while BYD’s exploded by 184 per cent, BYD could be on track to overtake Tesla in 2023.
A key reason for BYD’s success is the fact that the majority of its vehicles are priced between 100,000 Yuan (~$14,490) and 200,000 Yuan (~$29,000) in China, making them considerably cheaper than alternatives sold by Tesla and other competitors.
So, if Tesla wants to hold on to its top spot, it would be wise to launch its promised $25,000 EV as soon as possible.