BYD announced this week that it has stopped the production of cars powered only by gasoline. The final units rolled off the assembly line in March.
The Chinese company will focus on rechargeable vehicles - battery-electric and plug-in hybrids.
The move is not a surprise as the share of non-rechargeable, internal combustion engine (ICE) cars out of the total volume of passenger cars has gradually lowered to just 2-3% in the first months of this year.
It was expected in September 2021 that the phase-out of ICE cars was near, especially since there were just a few ICE models left in the lineup.
The focus does not mean that BYD will stop producing cars equipped with internal combustion engines. In the case of plug-in hybrids, each one has an ICE. The company also has to provide spare parts for the existing cars on the market.
Nonetheless, the process of transition from ICE to BEVs/PHEVs has entered a new stage.
"The Shenzhen, China-based automaker will turn its focus to manufacturing innovative battery- electric vehicles, including high-tech battery-electric cars and trucks and plug-in hybrids, company officials said.
BYD will continue to produce and supply the components for internal combustion (ICE) vehicles so as to continually provide comprehensive service and after-sales support to existing customers."
Many other established manufacturers are also preparing to phase out ICE cars (in many cases by 2030), and then move to zero-emission vehicles. In most cases, it means the focus is on 100% battery-electric vehicles (with some share of hydrogen fuel cells).
Currently, BYD's rechargeable car sales are divided close to 50/50 between battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. On top of that comes all-electric buses, trucks, and other vehicles like forklifts.
In March, the company sold more than 100,000 plug-in electric cars for the very first time (we will take a closer look into that in a separate report).
The vast majority of sales are in China, but the company exports vehicles also to other markets globally, including Europe and South America.