The Chinese company that dethroned Tesla this month as the world’s top seller of electric cars is no household name.
But for Tony Fu, the owner of a BYD Tang PHEV hybrid since 2015, the Shenzhen-based company’s roaring success is no surprise.
“Its prices are much better than Tesla’s,” Fu, who lives in Shanghai, told Al Jazeera.
BYD’s spectacular rise comes despite years of naysaying about the quality and safety of China’s electric vehicles.
Among the most prominent critics was Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk.
“Have you seen their car?” Musk said in a Bloomberg interview in 2011. “I don’t think they make a good product.”
A little over a decade later, Warren Buffett-backed BYD is not only outselling Tesla, but also travelling on a more promising trajectory – although the two companies defy “apples to apples” comparisons as many BYD models are hybrid electric vehicles, while Tesla’s models are all fully electric.
The Chinese firm reported sales growth of 315 percent in the first six months of the year, compared with 46 percent growth for the former number one.