BYD Overtakes Tesla; Global EV Sales Up 61% in Q2 2022

Article By : Counterpoint Technology Market Research

For the first time, BYD Auto became the top-selling EV brand, dethroning Tesla.

Global passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales grew by 61% year-on-year (YoY) to reach 2.18 million units in the second quarter (Q2 2022), according to the latest research from Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker. In total EV sales, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for almost 72% and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) for the rest. China remained the market leader in EV sales, followed by Europe and the US. China’s EV sales increased by almost 92% YoY in Q2 2022 to reach 1.24 million units from just 0.64 million units in Q2 2021.

“As the global semiconductor shortage has eased a bit, automakers are able to cater to the increasing demand for EVs. Moreover, EV sales would have been higher if China had not experienced fresh COVID-19 outbreaks during March. Stringent lockdowns in and around major provinces halted the production ramp-up during April, which resulted in China’s passenger vehicle market recording its biggest drop since the COVID-19-hit March 2020. The situation improved only after lockdowns were lifted during the latter half of May. The second half of 2022 is expected to deliver better results, but economic downturns, energy crisis, supply chain bottlenecks and rising geopolitical tensions may hinder the growth of China’s automotive market, especially EVs,” Senior Analyst Soumen Mandal commented.

Market Summary

BYD Auto: For the first time, BYD Auto became the top-selling EV brand, dethroning Tesla. During Q2 2022, BYD Auto shipped more than 354,000 EV units, an increase of 266% YoY. The company officially stopped production and sales of internal combustion engine vehicles in March 2022 and has been focusing on the development of BEVs and PHEVs. More than 60% of BYD’s sales during the quarter came from its top three models – BYD Song, BYD Han and BYD Qin. The company is slowly penetrating the European market. It has already begun operations in Norway and is looking to start business in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Tesla: Tesla’s global sales during Q2 2022 grew 27% YoY to over 254,000 units, falling short of expectations. Although business in the US increased, its China business was affected by COIVD-19 shutdowns. Tesla sold just 98,000 cars in China during Q2 2022. Cumulative sales in China during April and May fell by 49% YoY. This was the lowest for the automaker since the COVID-19-hit 2020. But its sales during June improved by almost 115% YoY. Despite COVID-19 clouding Tesla’s Q2 sales, it remained the global leader in the BEV segment.

Wuling: The joint venture between SAIC, GM and Wuling has proved to be a success as the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV is the best-selling EV model in China. The model has been the undisputed market leader since its release in the second half of 2020. During Q2 2022, Wuling grew by 16% YoY to hold the third rank in the global EV market.

BMW: BMW’s EV sales during Q2 2022 increased by 18% YoY. The company has a more prominent presence in the PHEV segment. However, its BEV sales experienced a higher QoQ growth rate (18%) in Q2 2022 compared to its PHEV sales (2%). BMW’s aim to have 2 million BEV units on the road by the end of 2025 is motivating it to make significant developments in the EV category. The BMW X3 and i-series models are spearheading the company’s push in the BEV segment, while the 5-Series, 3-Series and X5 models are doing the same in the PHEV segment.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen’s EV sales declined 9% YoY in Q2 2022. Its shipments across Europe and the US declined by 44% YoY and 74% YoY, respectively. Bottlenecks in the supply of semiconductors and other automotive components due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, together with rising inflation, pushed EV sales down in these two markets. However, sales in China grew 115% YoY in Q2 2022. Apart from the supply chain crisis, the company’s internal issues and failure to develop new proprietary software for its vehicles are impacting the company’s EV shipment targets.

Global EV brands sales share Q2 2022_Counterpoint Technology
Source: Counterpoint Research Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker, Q1 2018 – Q2 2022

“Incentives play a crucial role in increasing EV adoption. For example, China’s strong incentive program for both automakers and consumers has helped the country become the global EV leader. China extended its consumer-side subsidies until 2023, even after deciding to end them in 2021. Moreover, China’s dual-credit policy for automakers has been a massive success and the government is planning to phase out consumer-side subsidies as its EV market reaches maturity. In contrast, lower subsidies in European countries have led to slow growth in EV sales. China’s EV market grew by over 90% YoY in Q2 2022, whereas Europe’s EV market increased by just 16% YoY. Rising EV sales in European nations have led to a discontinuation of many consumer-side subsidies on car purchases with the focus shifting to establishing improved charging infrastructure, including incentives for consumers to install charging points,” Research Vice President Neil Shah said. “Recently, the US has brought a new EV policy which includes attractive incentives for both automakers and consumers. Benefits upto $12,000 are available for automakers and consumers on the purchase of a new EV. As a result, we expect to see an increase in EV sales in the US. Apart from these big markets, smaller markets like India, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia have started providing various benefits for EV buyers and automakers either directly as a rebate in prices or tax exemption.”

The top 10 EV models accounted for more than 30% of global EV sales in Q2 2022. Tesla’s Model Y remained the best-selling EV model. Wuling’s Hongguang Mini EV moved up to the second place, pushing Tesla’s Model 3 to third place. The Hongguang Mini EV’s long streak of being the best-selling model in China was broken by the Model Y in June 2022. Six out of the top ten best-selling EV models during the quarter were from Chinese OEMs and are mostly only available in China.

Global top 10 EV share Q2 2022_Counterpoint Technology
Source: Counterpoint Research Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker, Q1 2018 – Q2 2022

“The automotive industry is unlikely to fully recover from the semiconductor shortages until 2023. We do not expect global passenger EV sales to exceed 10 million units in 2022 considering the COVID-19 outbreaks, production shutdowns due to the power crisis, component shortages and rising consumer price inflation,” Research Vice President Peter Richardson said.

*Sales here refer to wholesale figures, i.e. deliveries out of factories by respective brands/companies.

*Under electric vehicles (EVs), we are considering only battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are not included in this study.


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