In December, Chinese giant BYD once again set an absolutely amazing global plug-in electric car sales record, which allowed the automaker to achieve its annual target of 3 million units in 2023. According to the company's report, last month, BYD's passenger plug-in car sales amounted to 340,178—including 18,608 EVs from its sub-brands—which is 45% more than a year ago and represents its the best sales result ever.

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No one sells more rechargeable cars than BYD

BYD is the world's largest plug-in electric car manufacturer with more than 3 million sales in 2023 and over 6 million sales cumulatively. In recent months, the company has focused more on all-electric cars, which outpace plug-in hybrids.

The December's result is 38,800 higher than the November's record (301,378), which is quite spectacular. It was also the eighth consecutive monthly record, underlying how consistent BYD's expansion is. Having said that, the overwhelming majority of BYD sales still happened in China, while exports account for about 10% of its total results.

One of the most interesting things is that BYD was able to significantly increase its all-electric car sales by 70% year-over-year to 190,754. That's a new record and 56% of the brand's total passenger car sales.

Plug-in hybrid car sales are also growing, but much slower (up 22% year-over-year), and were in the minority, at 149,424. That's also a new record. This trend of BEVs outpacing PHEVs is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

BYD Group passenger plug-in car sales last month (YOY change):

  • BEVs: 190,754 (up 70%)
  • PHEVs: 149,424 (up 22%)
  • Total: 340,178 (up 45%)

BYD also sold 865 commercial electric vehicles for a total of 341,043 plug-in vehicles last month. Out of the total number, some 36,095 BYD plug-ins were exported (another monthly record).

BYD plug-in electric car sales – December 2023

During the fourth quarter of 2023, BYD sold 942,651 rechargeable passenger cars, including 526,409 all-electric and 416,242 plug-in hybrids.

BYD's all-electric sales results were especially crucial because it may mark a turning point when the Chinese company sells more EVs than Tesla in a quarter. We will know once Tesla releases its own numbers later this week. Update 8:55 a.m.: By "this week," we mean "right now." Tesla reports that it delivered over 484,000 vehicles in Q4, so it appears BYD did it fact pass the American company as the world's top EV seller.

In 2023, BYD sold over 3.0 million passenger plug-in electric cars (in line with the target), which is 62% more than a year ago.

BYD Group passenger plug-in car sales year-to-date (YOY change):

  • BEVs: 1,574,822 (up 73%)
  • PHEVs: 1,438,084 (up 52%)
  • Total: 3,012,906 (up 62%)

For reference, in 2022, BYD sold more than 1.85 million plug-in electric cars. The cumulative number of BYD plug-in electric cars is now more than 6 million units.

BYD has become the largest Chinese carmaker, the largest car brand in China, the world's largest PHEV and plug-in electric car manufacturer, and probably also the largest all-electric car manufacturer in Q4.

Top Models

The top nameplate in BYD's lineup continues to be the Song family with 84,039 units sold (mostly plug-in hybrids).

BYD Seagull - popular electric car (7)

The compact electric BYD Seagull was the second most popular model, with a record of 50,525 units, noticeably ahead of the Qin family with 46,394 sales (BEV + PHEV) and the all-electric BYD Yuan family (41,681 units), also known as Atto 3 outside of China.

The all-electric BYD Dolphin noted 36,514 sales last month, the Han family (BEV + PHEV) noted 20,902 units, the Seal family noted 20,093 units, while other models were significantly behind, mostly below 20,000.

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