The Tesla vs. BYD race is still on, and BYD is surging forward in the electric semi truck category.
A decade or so ago, I recall a lot of debates about who was approaching the EV revolution best, Tesla or BYD. Or who was leading the EV revolution, Tesla or BYD. Of course, some people were happy to say “both!” A decade later, we’re sort of in the same boat — it’s just gotten a LOT bigger. Tesla sells slightly more full electric cars & SUVs than BYD, but BYD has been getting close to Tesla on that and sells far more plugin vehicles overall, but Tesla makes ~11 times more profit. Tesla’s got a big order backlog, but BYD has a much bigger order backlog. But that’s all old news — the new news is in the electric semi truck category.
Just a few days ago, Elon Musk tweeted and we reported that Tesla would deliver its first Semi to PepsiCo on December 1st. There’s word that it will then be producing 5 Semis/week for the rest of 2022, but I haven’t seen an official statement from Tesla (or tweet from Elon) on this.
BYD, meanwhile, just announced (3 days later) that it has already delivered the first 5 units of its new electric semi truck (aka semitrailer tractor). The 5 units of the semi truck, called the Q3MA, were delivered by BYD Mexico to transportation company Marva in Puebla, Mexico. The big shocker, though — which you already saw in the headline to this piece — is that BYD plans to deliver 120 fully electric semi trucks to customers within 2022.
“Equipped with the world’s leading lithium iron phosphate battery and the integrated electric drive axle independently developed by BYD, the Q3MA features intense power and a long range,” BYD wrote. “With a curb weight of 12 tons and a maximum allowable total traction mass of 35 tons, it is widely used in ports, industrial parks, and short- and medium-distance intercity logistics transportation. Adhering to the principle of ‘high efficiency, energy conservation, and environmental protection’, the Q3MA will enormously benefit the local area in terms of sustainable development, thanks to its new energy technologies which are emission-free and pollution-free.”
Miguel Ángel Martínez, CEO of Marva, added: “This pure electric semitrailer tractor fleet will help to reduce carbon emissions around 33,000 tons per year, creating a cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation industry. We are ready to continue our cooperation with the world’s leading NEV manufacturer BYD and move forward along the green road together.”
“This fleet of 120 BYD pure electric tractors will be operated under the collaboration of Element Fleet Management, an industry-leading fleet management company, and ENEL X, a renewable energy company,” said Zou Zhou, Country Manager of BYD Mexico. “BYD will join hands with Marva and other outstanding partners to promote the transition to clean transportation in Mexico.”
With such a big and quick launch of its electric semi truck (120 trucks), one can imagine BYD hitting the market in high volumes. We’ll see. Notably, BYD has sold medium-duty and heavy-duty electric trucks for years, as well as electric buses. So, it has plenty of experience in the production and sales of large electric vehicles. An electric semi truck was the next logical step.
Who will sell 1,000 electric semi trucks first? Who will sell 10,000 first?
Featured image courtesy of BYD.
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