The Chinese language electric-vehicle maker has been significantly good at increasing into completely different, associated companies. Not solely can it make high-performing and secure batteries for vehicles, but it surely additionally does virtually every part in home, from designing automotive chips to mining lithium and different supplies. The truth that it has subsidiaries in each step of the EV provide chain permits the corporate to maintain its prices down and promote vehicles at extra aggressive costs.
Now, to tug that off as soon as once more, BYD is beginning a sea freight enterprise. As I simply wrote in a narrative printed in the present day, the corporate is assembling a fleet of not less than eight car-carrier ships that may transport BYD vehicles from factories in China to promote in Europe, South America, and different markets.
BYD has had a meteoric rise to turn into the Chinese language EV sector’s poster baby lately, and 2023 was significantly good for the corporate. It bought 3 million electrical vehicles and plug-in hybrid fashions final yr, up from 1.8 million in 2022. BYD managed to beat Tesla to turn into the world’s top-selling EV firm within the fourth quarter of 2023.
Whereas the vast majority of these vehicles had been bought in China, BYD’s export enterprise has been increasing considerably. It exported over 240,000 vehicles in 2023, greater than a fourfold improve from 55,000 vehicles in 2022; and the latter quantity was itself greater than a fourfold improve from 13,000 in 2021.
However one factor has been getting in the best way of those bonkers numbers: the dearth of car-carrier ships internationally. A bust cycle within the worldwide delivery business since 2008, the technological problem of constructing ships greener, and the truth that present vessels are sometimes already reserved by automakers in different international locations—these elements have collectively resulted in ever-rising prices to rent a ship that may transport Chinese language EVs overseas.
So Chinese language corporations like BYD and SAIC Motor are following within the footsteps of Japanese and Korean automakers: they’re constructing, chartering, and managing their very own fleets of ships. This January, one boat operated by BYD and one other operated by SAIC Motor set sail for the primary time, between them carrying over 10,000 automobiles towards Europe.