Elon Musk: With SolarCity, Tesla Is Now Only Company To Do It All. BYD: Umm, No

NOV 27 2016 BY MARK KANE 91

Elon Musk’s carefully crafted words about the merging of Tesla and SolarCity creating the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company didn’t land on deaf ears at BYD.

In fact, BYD sounds a touch annoyed, as the Chinese company points out that they not only sell more EVs, but they build and sell their own energy storage solutions, and they build and sell their own solar products.  And they have been doing it going on a decade now.  Zing!

BYD New Energy Vehicles

BYD New Energy Vehicles

See if you can spot the righteous indignation in a recent BYD social media post asking “World’s Only?? Are we daft?”

“Elon Musk was recently heard saying to investors, “The acquisition of SolarCity will create the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company, from energy generation to storage to transportation.”

(World’s Only?? Are we daft?)

As the world knows, BYD has been vertically integrated 10 years ago with True Solar Manufacturing (not just a solar SALES company), Energy Storage from BYD (not from Panasonic) with Utility Scale projects in 66 Countries and over 11 GWh of BYD Iron-Phosphate Capacity TODAY (not by 2018 from our virtual factory).

BYD plug-in electric car sales in China – October 2016

BYD plug-in electric car sales in China – October 2016

One has to admit, despite very rare outburst of emotion from the company, BYD is throwing down on Tesla from some pretty solid footing.

BYD is currently the largest plug-in car and bus manufacturer in the world, and has a huge footprint already in the solar and energy storage manufacturing business.

Recently, the  company even delivered on a electric monorail train in October, and got ~$9 billion worth of backing to build further systems in up to 20 more cities.

All this in consideration, it isn’t strange that BYD feels pretty stunned at the obvious omission of its existence by the Tesla CEO,  as they are not only involved in virtually all aspects of sustainability, but at the forefront – from plug-in passenger and commericial vehicles through ESS to solar and more…even if the projects aren’t nearly as sexy/high profile as Tesla’s.

BYD's electric skyrail launched in October

BYD’s electric skyrail launched in October

To defend its position, BYD encourages people to watch an interview from BYD’s Vice President — Micheal Austin at Solar Power International (see above).

SPI 2016: Elon Musk’s The Sustainable World Vision Was Born 15 Years Ago at BYD

During SPI 2016 in Las Vegas we had an opportunity to speak to Michael Austin, Vice President at BYD America, one of the first foreign comers to the company in the United States.

The second video (below) is about BYD’s focus in North America:

BYD’s solar business in North America – focus on big developers & utility scale projects

During SPI 2016 held in Las Vegas, we spoke to Oscar Su, in charge of the solar business in North America.  Oscar updated us on BYD’s solar business strategy in the region while pointing out what makes a difference comparing to the company competitors.

We’ve also add two additional videos about BYD’s solar and ESS ventures:

BYD Solar Panel Manufacturing and Assembly

Products Showcase: Energy Storage Solutions by BYD

Categories: BYD, ESS, Tesla

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91 Comments on "Elon Musk: With SolarCity, Tesla Is Now Only Company To Do It All. BYD: Umm, No"

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Wow, as they say, “Gotcha on that one.”

Wait a minute…does Tesla sell any ICE vehicles? NO. Does BYD sell any ICE vehicles? YES. Conclusion…not a gotcha moment. Try again.

Awesome reply!

How so? Does BYD sell electric cars and solar solutions in the same showroom under the same brand name as complementary products?

Because I think that’s what “integrated sustainable energy company” means as opposed to being involved in the productions of these products but treating them as unrelated products that are sold along different retail channels.

I wonder why we don’t see any of these cars on North American Roads? They’re No good to us in China alone!

We all use the same air, if China wants to sell a million EVs a year in China, go for it.

North American safety standards are much higher and costlier. Their car would have to be redesigned to meet our bumper height regulations, crash standards, etc. A costly endeavor. It will come though.

It’s easy to be “successfiu” when the chinese government has your back and you operate in a planed economy. Any you are allowed to steal american, european and japanese patents…

Which relevant patents here we’re stolen by the Chinese?


Moneys to build up are provided by China Gov., currency machinations to strengthen export too.

But did not hear about any patent stealing…

That would be extremely hard to do now that BYD is international and can be sued everywhere.

The flagrancy with which Chinese manufacturers simply ignore patents and copyrights has certainly affected BYD. Both Sony and Sanyo sued BYD for battery patent infringement, altho neither suit was successful. Rumors of patent infringement were one of several causes of BYD’s failure in its first attempt to sell electric buses in California, and China Daily.com reports that there has been speculation that patent infringement, or at least worries over that, are one of the reasons why BYD’s attempt to market the e6 in the USA have been at least delayed, if not canceled: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/2011-01/12/content_11836902.htm Even if BYD has managed to scrupulously avoid patent infringement — or more likely, perhaps BYD has lately taken steps to purge technology using stolen patents from its own manufacturing and that of its suppliers — there is bound to be suspicion when they try to sell products in first-world countries, because patent stealing is an everyday, accepted practice in Chinese manufacturing. It’s not merely that “guilt by association” applies here, it’s that BYD would have to be very vigilant indeed to avoid being sold parts by supplier which ignore patent law. That problem is made doubly bad by the frequency of outright counterfeiting of goods,… Read more »

Their counterfeit chips be good on the outside, but they don’t hold the magic blue smoke in as well.

And their capacitors are even worse.

The bottom of the BYD e6 that were tested in California were supposedly all rusted out. Someone involved in the testing, mentioned this on a forum a while back.

They also had an accident in China with one of the e6’s, that was hit by another car, and all three people inside got killed in a fire, which resulted in many e6’s being pulled off of the roads.
Search: byd e6 crash fire
Their stock at the time supposedly tanked as a result of that.

I am not going to blame the Chinese for doing what is best for China, Chinese busineses and the Chinese people unlike the US gov in Washington that rolls over and allows it…

Tesla was orginaly propted up by US gov loans as are EV and solar sales with gov subsudies along with the new Solar City factory in NY being owned by the state and leased to Solar City for the cost of creating jobs…
So how far apart are Tesla and BYD…

Truth is like it or not China is the worlds leader in clean tech by work, sales, deployment, and overall action…
BYD is a great thing and I hope they are sucessful…

Also if one wants to get technical you could say Tesla does not produce there own batteries as they rely on Panasonic to do it even if it will be in there factory…


Yogurt said:

“Tesla was orginaly propted up by US gov loans…

“So how far apart are Tesla and BYD…”

Seriously, you’re trying to equate the way China’s central government strongly supports BYD with outright subsidies and protectionist tariffs against foreign imports, to Tesla taking out a loan — which Tesla Motors has fully repaid — under the U.S. DOE loan program?

According to a Forbes report:

“The figure for what the company terms ‘government grants and subsides’ is even more significant when measured against total profits of 6.4 billion yuan — equal to about 45 percent of net profit over the past five years. In fact, in 2012 and again in 2014, subsidies outstripped profit. In 2012, government grants and subsidies of 550 million yuan were more than two-and-half times net income of 213 million yuan.”

More info here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mclifford/2016/07/26/with-a-little-help-from-its-friends-lavish-chinese-government-help-for-top-electric-car-maker-byd/#63eca7c71533

Tell us, Yogurt, just how much of the money that BYD has received from the Chinese government has BYD repaid? Even a single Yuan? Hmmmm?

No, I don’t think so.

P.S. — I also don’t think much of the way you’re falsely describing U.S. solar power subsidies which went to SolarCity as benefiting Tesla. Since Tesla only very recently acquired SolarCity, they haven’t benefited from that income.

I love Tesla but you people are funny…
Tesla will get the Solar City factory on the same terms Solar City got it and that was a big reason for the sucessful acquisition…
And how much is that factory and no NY taxes worth??
How much are the taxes worth in NV amd CA that Tesla will not have to pay??
I will keep the math simple but every EV Tesla sells gets a 7500 tax credit which inderectly goes to Tesla…
Say 100,000 sales at 7500 equals 750,000,0000…
I have no problem with any of it but to pretend Tesla has not benefited big time from tax breaks and subsudies is laughable…

750mill to tesla is Chump change (or Trump change heh).

Lets have a look at GM & Chrysler, u know, that 2009 thing when gov bailed out their ass from bankruptcy to the tune of $64billion (GM+Chrysler), plus another $18.7 billion to help GMAC (remember them?) financial from going belly up.

Oh and lets talk Ford’s gov loan of $5.9billion for “re-tooling & modernizing” same month as the other bailouts, yeah that’s what it was, re-tooling.
Another $8.8 billion for Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program initiative. Hmmm, weren’t they advanced already?, and what happened to all the cash they made on sales since the 50’s, hmmm.

That’s over $97 billion for those 3 in just over a year, not 5.

Oh yeah, Ford/GM or Chrysler didn’t need any propping up at all.

Suddenly that $0.75 billion looks mighty small vs 97.

And they wiped out the GM shareholders, and then reintroduced the stock, for other suckers to buy.

It doesn’t “indirectly go to Tesla” AT ALL. Other state tax credits are spread Tesla hitting targets. Even if that isn’t the case with SC’s NY factory, it’s still state help as opposed to STATE help.


Tesla has a lot of funds form the US

Had, some funds.
Nothing like Exxon though.

How true is that! that is the reason Buffet Is in on it BIG TIME …Steal Steal Steal! It’s The Chinese Way ….I like to see them make that work in NA!

That might have been true to an extent 15 years ago, but not now. Keep in mind the U.S. EV buyer also gets subsidized.

There are actually quite some similarities between these two companies (and their leaders).

However the Americans don’t seem to support the work of Elon (and probably this will not become better in future), while China has really jumped on the wagon of renewable energy and clean transport in the last years.

It is up to America to change that!

Maybe that is part of Trump’s plan to “Make America Great?”


So Elon once again said something that isn’t true. Shocker…

Wait! Someone ripping on Elon? How original and special you are. Some people just can’t help themselves. They just can’t stand someone being successful while changing the world for the better. All Americans should celebrate Elon and team at Tesla. Instead, many needle and pick and spew false information. You should read more and educate yourself.

Perhaps if Elon stopped spouting falsities and those in his cult stopped believing in them based solely on his word there wouldn’t be a need for such replies.

I am on this website, not some pro oil website, so I care about the environment and all and think he has done a good job to help spur things along but I also have a brain and wish many more people did as well when it comes to what he says.

Let’s see. Be consistently misses dates, says thing will cost less than they actually do, and says he’s the leader of the worlds first sustainable energy company meanwhile BYD has apparently been doing it for 10 years. The lies this guy spouts are many and it is shocking how many keep falling for it. Again, not that he hasn’t done a good job but enough with the lies…

The lies, are entirely yours, my friend. 🙂

Lies is harsh.


He is being sincere I am sure. He’s just an incurable optimist. You’d have to be to dare to do what he has done.

Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well, does BYD build reusable rocket boosters? No, so there.

No. What he said is correct.

What you interpreted, was not.

Please learn to read.


Yes, i totally agree that BYD also provides huge amount of green solutions, but most of it’s car market share goest to ICE production, so, i kind of understand what Elon Musk was thinking.

Agreed. Context here, is key. BYD sells far more fossil fuel vehicles than Hybrids or BEVs.


Elon is correct in that Tesla is now the only __SUSTAINABLE__, fully integrated Energy Generation / Storage / Transportation company on the planet.

Once the Tesla Semi EV is built, Tesla won’t even be using diesel trucks to ship raw materials / parts / finished product, too.


Takes Big Brass Balls To Start a “Pure EV” Company & stick with it ! Without Deviation..True to the Cause!

Gotta Admit , BYD has some nice looking “Copy Cat Cars”..

It is as much sustainable as perpetuum mobile.
What exactly is sustainable?
Selling $100k overweight and oversubsidized cars using imported parts and Panasonic cells to few rich folks to allow them to feel entitled?
Or reselling Chinese PV panels at high price, by taking advantage of netmetering incentive using misleading sales practice, with unrealistic rate increases sneaked into contract?
Try put them on isolated island and check how long their “sustainable” integrated company would last without cheap imported goods from coal powered world factory, aka China, and similar sweatshop places.
The only thing that is sustainable is their hype and greenwashing, it may go forever.

You all are arguing schemantics here instead of congragulaing BYD for being awsome…
If you want to get technical Tesla does not make there own batteries therefore they are not verticaly integrated??
That wont be a popular statement…

The criteria for “Being Awesome” would include the immediate cessation of producing ANY vehicles that BURN FOSSIL FUELS.

BYD has a few halo EV’s in it’s product line up– but the majority of their products and sales, are ICE-based vehicles. Hence, BYD still has a loooong way to go. Good start, but no e-cigar. 😉

BYD electric buses alone provide transportation to much more people than your overhyped vanity cars.

“Schemantics”, is that a novel portmanteau? Given that you used the wrong “there”, I’m guessing not. So I’m going to claim and use it as my own, LOL.

Also, where is the BYD car you can buy in Europe and in the US?
A Tesla can be bough almost everywhere.

I do like what BYD is doing though, they are clearly a positive forward looking company.

Guess it’s hard to remember the world is bigger than the US of A…

BYD does build a lot of plug-ins, but not at a quality level that one could actually sell in more discerning markets like North America and Europe (and if burdened with the same sort of taxes/benefit exemptions China slaps on imported EVs they never will), so for a significant part of the (economic) world Elon Musk was correct.

Elon, makes promises about technology he doesn’t have, but will eventually create using tax payers money.

I agree, his latest sales pitch is again full of rainbows and unicorns! Solar shovels, already been done, solar already been done, bailing out your cousins company with tax payer money…. pretty sure that’s been done too.

Elon isn’t doing anything that’s new or impressive. What is impressive is how ignorant the elonites are. I hope they all go try to go to mars on the first ship that launches.

I must have missed all those companies landing their 1st stages after boosting their second stages to mach 6 or 8.
You, Sir, are ignorant, or worse.

Rockets. Talk about environmentally unfriendly 🙂

Perhaps but they get more bang out of each gallon of RP-1 fuel and their next engine will use methane which will make it possible to use biogas instead of oil as feedstock.

Tesla’s Model S fleet probably makes up in one day (or soon even an hour) what SpaceX uses on one launch, which can be weeks or months apart.

Powered by fossil fuel of course. None was reused so far, so what exactly exciting about it compared to NASA landing and launching again rocket on Moon with live people using 1969 technology?
Why isn’t he putting his foot where his tongue is and not powering his rockets with sustainable solar panel generated renewable H2 fuel, NASA has showed how to use it many years ago?

Hydrogen is not appropriate for long journey trough space because off the boil off problem.

You could do an Hydrogen rocket for launch from Earth but you can keep the fuel long enough to be able to land on Mars with it months later. Even for launching from Earth Hydrogen is usually only for the second stage. It only becomes interesting on the first stage once you get to really big diameters rockets because the volume increase faster than the section drag area.

The moon has a much lower gravity (approximately 1/6 if I recall correctly), that made it much easier. As for hydrogen, there is a serious volume problem. Storing enough hydrogen would make the rocket so much bigger that even if it were cost effective the carbon emissions from the manufacturing would outweigh the savings from using hydrogen. Plus the boil off problem mentioned, it is very hard to store in space.

LOL LOL LOL…hey do you still believe in Santa Claus? All Americans use taxpayers money without exception. Stop believing the conservative BS about not using taxpayers money. FYI, Santa is not real lol

Yes, we are aware now of the fossil fuel interest funded “Citizens for the Republic” and its mission to destroy Tesla by painting it as a failing, tax payer defrauding company and maybe you are foolish enough to buy into their lies or maybe you are hired to spread their memes but your moronic message will not work among the informed.

+1 recommended reading https://electrek.co/2016/11/25/tesla-subsidies-big-three-oil-industry/ and quite interesting also
that looks at coal electricity powered cars

“Elon, makes promises about technology he doesn’t have, but will eventually create using tax payers money.”

It gets very tiresome seeing EV bashers whine about the tiny amount of tax subsidies which Tesla benefits from only indirectly, while ignoring the trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars (plus thousands of lives of American servicemen and -women) used to fund using the U.S. military to guarantee our falsely “cheap” supply line of oil from the Mideast.

I’m definitely in favor of ending all subsidies; both for EVs and for Big Oil. If the price of gasoline at the pump actually included the very high cost of using the U.S. military to keep it falsely cheap, then there would be absolutely no need to give any incentives to EV buyers or manufacturers!

I think the difference is Tesla earned it and byd was largely given their success from the chinese governments.

You might want to do a little research before saying vaugley blanked statements with little factual basis…

You might want to stop your habit of making personal attacks on anyone who posts factual statements pointing out the very real achievements of the technological leader of the EV revolution, Tesla Motors.

We Tesla fanboys can admire Tesla Motors for its achievements and its vision, without being blind to Elon’s faults, among which are his tendency to use hype and overstatement. We don’t confuse the two; too bad that you are unable to do the same.

There is no personal attack here just as there are no facts here and frankly to say that highly educated people who work very hard were just given there success is what is insulting…

FYI I am not attacking Tesla I am defending BYD as Tesla is awesome just as BYD is too…

Since you gave me a piece of advice I will do the same…
Please take off your rose colored glasses and judge all auto companies the same as you judge Tesla…

It actually seems quite fair to say that BYD does not offer the residential consumer a complete integrated solar generation, storage, and personal transportation solution, even if the company does produce products in some of these individual markets. For Industrial and Commercial markets, on the other hand, BYD seems to offer a more integrated solution than does Tesla.

Producing products in three related categories for the same customer is not what is meant by “vertically integrated,” and Musk did not say vertically integrated in the challenged statement. Such tri-product development would be closer to horizontal integration. Buzzwords over meaning? Perhaps someone running BYD’s Facebook presence jumped the gun here, but one does see how defensive a Chinese firm can be when compared to an American media darling.

BYD is doing super stuff, but a post on social media that is reactionary to a smaller foreign firm’s investor/consumer announcement of a successful merger isn’t part of that super stuff.

Depends on what you mean by “integrated sustainable energy company”. I took it to mean the fact that the cars and the solar solutions are available in the same showroom as complementary products.

Unless BYD has the same marketing approach Elon Musk is still correct in his remark if he was referring to the unique retail experience as opposed to a large corporation being involved in many different products that are marketed as unrelated products along different retail channels.

Context is important. Musk’s claim is that they’re an end-to-end sustainable energy company – all the way to transport.

Although BYD makes EV’s and electric buses, they also make gasoline based vehicles as well, and they use natural gas in their production process. BYD is simply a budding conglomerate that also has sustainable energy products. BYD has much to be proud of, but they’re not talking about the same thing.

OOC how does Tesla and SC get their finished parts and raw materials from Asia?

A: on a slow boat. Last time I checked those aren’t driven by wind power. So if you really want to get down to it they aren’t “sustainable”.

Same thing with their offices, factories, and SCs. They aren’t powered or built solely by renewable energy. So again while I compliment him on a job well done they aren’t exactly “sustainable”…

In that regard, DJ, nothing is sustainable. Not the planet. Not the galaxy. Not the universe.

that just isn’t true. Lots of things can be sustainable. The universe for sure is…

You must be a paid troll. Elon clearly said his PRODUCTS are sustainable.

The production side of it, is an ever-evolving struggle that continues to green over time. Great Example: Gigafactory will be running without a natural gas line to power equipment or to produce products. Batteries will no long need shipped to the US. Energy and heat will be from sustainable renewables when completed.

Autonomous Tesla Semi will eventually be used inhouse to ship product. There really isn’t a company this carbon-clean in the entire automotive and energy storage industry.

“The more you know…”(tm) *wink*

I am not a troll, a paid one or an unpaid one. I don’t own or short Tesla stock. Why is it anytime anyone ever calls Elon on the s*** he spews those things are the best you guys can come up with?

Presumably because you are sheep who can’t think on your own. If Elon said he could turn farts in to gold I am willing to believe that 90% of the people in here would believe him….

It is because of a long history of success. He said he can do an electric compelling racecar from scratch. People say lies. Roadster first product. He says he could do the same for a family sedan, compelling long range and less expensive than the roadster. Some people say lies. Then thousands of people got to drive the Model S since 2012. Have you ever driven one? You should try in order to understand, these are real awesome products and they are no longer handmade like the roadster. Next he said he could build an SUV also, that can tow 5000 lbs. It took him a lot longer than he predicted, as he admitted some hubris applied. But I am driving a Tesla Model X today and it is super awesome, best car I have ever driven, and fixes the issues I had with Model S plus more. It is not the ideal SUV with tons of room and roof rack and so on, but that doesnt matter to me, because it is light years ahead of the competition in most other aspects, and I love every day that I drive it, short distance and long distance. Six seats in… Read more »

I think the key word in Musks claim is “integrated”.

BYD sells all of the components, but I suspect their products aren’t integrated. The solar + storage probably isn’t plug ‘n play like Tesla plans, and you probably can’t DC charge their EVs off of the solar etc.

Well when you put enough qualifiers about anything you can make almost anything true 🙂

And you can always argue to misinform, whenever you take facts out of context for a destructive agenda.

Words have meaning. All of them.

DJ said:

“Well when you put enough qualifiers about anything you can make almost anything true ? ”

Yeah, even posts from people like you; people so jealous of Elon Musk’s achievements that they go out of their way to bash his companies, such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX, even on the flimsiest of excuses.

Once again you can’t either read or comprehend. I have repeatedly complimented him and his companies for what he has done however I don’t open my mouth so he can dip his balls in to it like the rest of you.

Since it seems that it is ok to call people names on this site let’s have it 🙂

BYD makes much more PHEVs than BEVs.

And they rarely get plugged in. Chinese customers buy them because they can get new energy vehicle license plates right way instead of waiting years for a regular car license plate.

Tesla’s use of public funds is tiny vs what they have acquired from private investors, Wall Street, and Venture Capitalist, Toyota and Daimler Benz.

“BYD makes much more PHEVs than BEVs.”

This hasn’t been true for a while. For some months the ratio has been about 50/50 for cars, while 100% of their public transport offerings are BEV.

Since very recently BEV constitute also the majority of new energy cars sold (>7000 battery electric vs. <3000 PHEV last month).

Elon would have fewer detractors if he would learn to stop running his mouth. On the other hand, he would also have fewer acolytes. A tough call.

I’m very concerned about what happens to Tesla with Trump in office. He says he is all for American companies so logically he would be pro Tesla-right?

Hmmm I bet not. I bet Trump has got lots of big oil money lining his pockets and can’t wait to put the screws to Tesla.

Trump is for Trump.

Notice the term in which they sampled the sales panel.

Notice the sample term of the sales panel.

Uhm, no to thise article and the answer is simple as this.

GASOLINE VEHICLES: F0, F3, New F3, New F3R, New F7, S6, F5 SURI
EVS: e6, BYD ebus

As long as they sell ICE and Hybrid they can claim nothing.

Last time I looked, the SolarCity factory was still being set up, and has yet to produce a single solar cell or solar panel.

It’s good to see that someone is finally calling Elon on at least one of his overstatements, and on one case of his tendency to take hype to the next level.

Well, last time I checked the Giga has yet to produce a single battery or house hamsters for that matter but just like the SC factory it is in progress and that progress will lead to an integrated sustainable energy and transportation company.

So Elon is correct and cynics/critics/shorters/haters for whatever their reasons aren’t.

“Recently, the company even delivered on a electric monorail train in October”

Is there a chance the track could bend?

That’s some serious shade BYD is throwing onto Tesla’s solar panels!