BYD Auto


Image by/from Amanda Atalaia

BYD Auto Co., Ltd. is the automotive subsidiary of the publicly listed Chinese multinational manufacturing company BYD Co. Ltd. It was founded in January 2003, following BYD’s 2002 acquisition of Qinchuan Automobile Company. The company produces passenger cars, buses, trucks, electric bicycles, forklifts and electric vehicle batteries. BYD’s passenger automobile models include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). They also produced internal combustion engine vehicles until March 2022.

BYD Auto overtook Tesla in June 2022 as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, announcing it had sold about 641,000 EVs (including BEVs and PHEVs) in the first half of 2022, while still trailing Tesla in BEVs. Later in 2022, it became the first carmaker in China to build one million new energy vehicles (NEVs) — a term used in China to describe BEVs and PHEVs and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) — in a single year. On August 11, 2023, BYD celebrated the sale of its 5 millionth NEV.

As of 2021, BYD was the fourth largest plug-in electric vehicle (PIEV) and the fourth largest BEV manufacturer in the world, with 9.1% and 7% global market share, respectively. By the second half of 2023, the company had become the largest PIEV and the second largest BEV manufacturer (behind Tesla) in the world, with 21.4% and 15% global market share, respectively. Most sales are in Mainland China, although the company is rapidly expanding into foreign markets in the European Union, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Latin America.

BYD Auto’s electric battery division, FinDreams Battery, is the world’s third largest producer of electric vehicle batteries, with a global market share of 12% in the first half of 2022, and a focus on lithium iron phosphate batteries. In 2023, FinDreams established a joint venture with Huaihai Holding Group, who is best known for electric tricycles and electric scooters, intending to establish the world’s largest supplier of sodium-ion batteries.

BYD Co Ltd founded BYD Auto in 2003, after acquiring Qinchuan Machinery Works from Norinco in 2002 and raising HK$1.6 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Qinchuan had been manufacturing cars since 1987, when the company began production of the 0.5 L (30.5 cu in) QJC7050 model. At the time of the acquisition, its QCJ7181 Flyer was in production, which from 2005 was rebadged as “BYD Flyer”.

In 2008, a plug-in hybrid version of the BYD F3 compact sedan was introduced, the world’s first production model plug-in hybrid car.

BYD’s car sales in 2009 were 448,400 vehicles. Its F3 was the best-selling sedan in China. In the same year, BYD began to export to Africa, South America, and the Middle East, where the cars competed on price, not quality.

In 2012, the city government of Shenzhen purchased 500 BYD e6 cars for use as taxis. It sold 506,189 passenger cars in China in 2013, ranking tenth.

In 2013, BYD was awarded The Top Crash Facility Award of the year 2013.

The Dynasty Series (王朝系列) started in August 2013 with the launch of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the petrol-engined BYD Surui, the BYD Qin. The BYD Qin replaced the aging BYD F3DM, and quickly became the best-selling electric vehicle of early 2014.

In 2014, the BYD Qin plug-in hybrid compact sedan, the first model of BYD’s Dynasty Series, sold 14,747 (plus a small number of sales in Latin America). In 2015, Qin sales increased to 31,898 ranking 88 in China.

The BYD Tang launched in 2015. In July 2015, exports to Russia were suspended over the Russo-Ukrainian War and the ruble’s falling value. BYD was the highest-selling brand of highway-legal light-duty plug-in electric vehicles (combined sales for plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars), at 61,772, mostly plug-in hybrids. BYD achieved top rankings in the 2015 J.D. Power Quality Study.

In 2016, the BYD Tang plug-in hybrid SUV sold 31,405 units, while the plug-in hybrid version of the Qin reached 21,868 units, and the BYD e6 electric compact MPV hit 20,605. BYD continued as the world’s top-selling plug-in car manufacturer selling over 100,000 units, up 64% from 2015. BYD sold more than 100,000 new energy passenger cars in China. The BYD Tang crossover SUV was the top-selling plug-in car in China with 31,405 units delivered. In September, the company became the third-largest manufacturer of plug-ins, selling 161,000 since 2008. Also, in September, the company introduced electric sanitation truck models, to be used in Beijing. BYD also supplies DHL with electric distribution fleet of commercial BYD T3, which provides daily logistics in the Central Business District (CBD) of Shenzhen and surrounding areas.

In May 2020, BYD announced that it would offer products in Europe, starting with Norway. Initial products included BYD Tang and commercial vehicles. Australia announced that 2,000 BYD electric vehicles would be operated by taxi operator ETaxiCo.

BYD planned to deliver 1,002 electric buses to Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, by mid-2022, after winning a contract for 406 electric buses in January 2021.

On April 4, 2022, BYD announced that it had stopped the production of vehicle other than BEVs and PHEVs.

BYD Auto sold ~641,000 EV’s in the first half of 2022, overtaking Tesla to become the world’s largest BEV/PHEV manufacturer.

In July 2022, BYD announced sales of electric vehicles in Japan from 2023.

BYD x Rever Automotive launched sales in Thailand as of October 2022.

In July 2023, BYD announced an investment of US$600 million in Brazil to acquire, modernize and increase production of Ford’s abandoned car plant in Camacari, Bahia State, to build up to 300,000 cars per year by 2025. BYD would install two industrial plants: one for the production of electric bus/truck platforms and one for refining lithium and iron phosphate ores, for use in BYD China’s battery factories.

In 2019, BYD launched its global design center, led by industry veterans from Audi, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz, topped by Wolfgang Egger. The carmaker unveiled its E-SEED GT, the first joint effort from the team, at the Auto Shanghai industry show in April. The design concept reflected the lines of the traditional Chinese dragon.

The BYD DM (dual mode) hybrid technology was first introduced in the late 2000s, on vehicles such as the BYD F3DM and BYD M3 DM. It consisted of a conventional ICE engine and transmission as well as an electric motor and batteries.

DM-i and DM-p replace DM technology. DM-i is for efficiency-oriented front-wheel drive models and DM-p is for performance-oriented all-wheel drive models. The models use series-parallel plug-in hybrid technology with a dedicated hybrid transmission (DHT), consisting of a high-efficiency gasoline engine (Xiaoyun) (which can power an electric generator) and a main electric motor (which can be powered by batteries and/or an electric generator). The Xiaoyun engine uses the Atkinson cycle, has an ultra-high compression ratio (CR) of 15.5, and has a Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) of 43%, the world’s highest for a production gasoline engine.

The hybrid drivetrain uses context-dependent components to provide driving power, including battery-only, battery + electrical generator mode, engine only mode (only at high speeds due to lack of transmission), and battery + engine mode. The engine charges the batteries via the generator when conditions permit. The design allows the engine to remain within its high efficiency zone.

DM-i is available with three power levels, codenamed EHS132, EHS145, and EHS160, using 1.5L, 1.5L or 1.5T, 1.5T Xiaoyun engines respectively.

The e-Platform 3.0 is a modular car platform specialised for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). It offers improved integration of BYD’s proprietary blade battery technology with an improved pure electric frame with doubled torsional stiffness, a more efficient 8-in-1 module for the drive system, a direct cooling and heating system for the battery pack (utilising residual heat, powertrain, passenger compartment, and the battery itself) to increase thermal efficiency by up to 20%, and shorter front overhangs, lower body profile, and a longer wheelbase to improve aerodynamics (0.21 drag coefficient).

The platform enables all-electric ranges exceeding 1,000 km (620 mi), with 800-volt fast charging technology for a range up to 150 km (93 mi) after 5-minutes of charging and allows an all wheel drive (AWD) system with 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration of up to 2.9 seconds. It allows cell-to-body (CTB) battery integration. CTB replaces the previous cell-to-pack (CTP) technology launched by Contemporary Amperex Technology and then dismissed by them in 2019.

The first car designed using this platform was the Yuan Plus (Atto 3 in global markets), followed by the “Ocean Series” such as the Dolphin and Seal.

BYD offers a broad variety of vehicles types, including sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, MPVs, SUVs, single-deck, double-deck, and articulated buses, long-distance coaches, vans, and class 5, 8 and specialty trucks.

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The Dynasty series marked the formal transition of BYD’s focus into developing new energy vehicles.

The Ocean Series (海洋系列) is a group of plug-in electric vehicles based on the Ocean-X. The series includes two vehicle lines: one is BEVs named after sea animals, while the others are PHEVs named for ships.

BYD F3

BYD Surui

BYD G3

BYD Auto claims fo offer world’s highest degree of vertical integration. Industrial facilities consist of two manufacturing plants in Xi’an, an R&D center and manufacturing plant in Shenzhen (the headquarters of BYD Co Ltd), a manufacturing plant in Changsha, Hunan province, a manufacturing plant in Shaoguan, Guangdong province, and an R&D center and parts plant in Shanghai. Construction of a third manufacturing plant in Xi’an resumed in 2011, after the company was fined for illegal land use.

Manufacturing plants for electric buses opened in Lancaster, California in May 2013. and in Dalian, Liaoning province in late 2014. A factory was inaugurated in Campinas, Brazil in 2015 for the production of electric buses. A bus plant opened in 2019 in Newmarket, Ontario. BYD has a European electric bus assembly facility in Komarom, Hungary. On July 4, 2023, BYD announced a $620 million investment in Camacari, Brazil to produce electric cars, after acquiring Ford’s former plant.

BYD intelligent cockpit system or voice recognition commands / controls is equipped with Android intelligent system, which brings smarter,safer and more comfortable driving experience to vehicle owners.

Denza is a joint venture with Daimler AG to produce luxury electric vehicles. It was created in May 2010. The Denza 500 model is based on an earlier generation of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Daimler later reduced its share from 50% to 10% via equity transfer, leaving BYD as the biggest shareholder.

Denza 500

Denza X

Denza D9

BYD and Toyota formed joint venture BYD Toyota EV Technology Co., Ltd., with head offices in Shenzhen, China, formalized in April 2020.

Yangwang (仰望, “gazing” or “envy”) is a luxury car division positioned to compete with European luxury brands. The brand was announced on January 5, 2023, at the Guangzhou Auto Show, along with its first model, the U8 off-road SUV, which features BYD’s proprietary e4 individual wheel drive technology.

Yangwang announced three models:

Yangwang U8

Yangwang U9

FangChengBao (方程豹, “formula leopard”) is a NEV division that produces professional and “personalized” vehicles, with products covering off-road and track-focused segments. The brand was announced on June 9, 2023.

On August 16, 2023, FangChengBao released its first model, the Leopard 5, mention two other models. The Leopard 5 debuted at the Chengdu Auto Show.

BYD supplied electric bus chassies to Alexander Dennis who built their Enviro200EV single-deck and Enviro400EV double-deck products on them.

In 2010, BYD sold 519,800 vehicles, representing 2.9% of the market in China, its sixth largest manufacturer. In 2011, the BYD sales rank was outside the top ten. In 2012, the company became the 9th largest car manufacturer in China, producing over 600,000 vehicles.

BYD’s North American headquarters opened in Los Angeles in 2011. As of 2013 BYD Auto sold the e6 and Electric Bus in the United States as fleet vehicles only. BYD first supplied the Los Angeles Metro system with buses in 2015.

BYD made over 440,000 sales in China in the first quarter of 2023, making it the best-selling car brand in China for the first time, surpassing Volkswagen.

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