The numbers are out and for the second year in a row, China’s BYD can claim the title at the world’s largest manufacturer of cars with plugs — either plug-in hybrids or battery electric vehicles. The numbers are for passenger cars and do not include the electric buses that BYD is manufacturing both in China and the United States or any of the low-speed models that are known in the US as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles that are not licensed for highway travel.
All told, BYD sold a total of 100,178 electrified vehicles — 46,905 battery electrics and 53,273 plug-in hybrids. The company makes two plug-in hybrid models. The Qin sedan accounted for 21,868 sales while the stylish Tang SUV chalked up 31,405 sales.
Some Americans may be familiar with the battery electric e6, a five door front wheel drive wagon that has recently had its battery upgraded to 80 kWh for an EPA rated range of 187 miles. A fleet of them are being used by Uber drivers in the Chicago area as BYD evaluates its readiness to take on the American market. It has a 72 MPGe rating, which is fairly underwhelming, considering the new Toyota Prius Prime is rated at 133 MPGe and the recently introduced Kia Niro crossover is rated 150 MPGe..
The company currently sells no cars here but says, “BYD has not launched consumer vehicle sales in North America, but has sold more than 16,000 e6s worldwide year to date. When BYD does launch in North America, we look forward to competitive sales figures here as well.”
For battery electrics. BYD sold 20,605 of the e6 wagons, 10,656 Qin EV models, and 15,639 of the smaller e5 sedans. It also sold 5 of its T3 electric commercial vans. Not included in the numbers are any of the Denza compact hatchbacks that BYD builds in partnership with Daimler. The company says it sold 13,278 all-electric buses in 2016 and a total of 859 battery electric commercial trucks.
BYD may not be a household name in the US yet, but it is definitely one of the leaders in the green car revolution worldwide.