Chinese plug-in electric vehicle maker BYD is ramping up production at a very high rate, but this may just be the prelude to something even bigger.
In June, the company sold or exported nearly 134,000 plug-in cars to China, more than three times more than a year ago and about 20,000 more than in May. Chairman and president of the company, Wang Chuanfu, noted that the electrification of the automotive industry is progressing faster than expected.
Chinese media reports that BYD may soon produce 300,000 plug-in cars per month. According Jimian (Going through CnEVPost), volume of 300,000 units is expected as early as August, which would be shocking, considering that after many years in the market, BYD has sold a total of less than 600,000 units in 2021.
The article is based on unofficial sources, which indicate a cumulative order book of more than 700,000 units and the commissioning of new factories.
Currently, BYD has six manufacturing plants in China, including sites in Shenzhen, Xi’an, Changsha, Changzhou, Fuzhou and Hefei.
The Hefei site is a new site, which started production at the end of June, so it will be a direct extension of manufacturing capacity.
The Changsha plant was shut down for two months this year, but resumed normal production in early June.
The Fuzhou plant is a plant acquired from bankrupt local automaker Dorcen Motor, which will be converted from ICE to producing plug-in cars with a target of more than 200,000 a year at some point in the future. BYD Dolphin is expected to go into production in Fuzhou later this year.
In addition to the six factories mentioned above, some of which did not yet produce plug-ins, the company is building three more production bases in Zhengzhou, Jinan and Xiangyang. Two of them, Jinan and Zhengzhou, are expected to be operational by the end of 2022.
We don’t know how accurate the Chinese media reports are, but in general it looks like BYD is making some serious investments in the factories and sooner or later that should translate into a much higher volume. Whether it’s 300,000 in August or not is not very important.
The important thing is that in the near future, BYD could potentially produce a few million plug-in electric cars per year. Typically, BYD’s sales are more or less evenly split between all-electric hybrids and plug-in hybrids.