As we’ve written in recent months, BYD has gotten neck and neck with Tesla in terms of full electric vehicle (BEV) sales. Additionally, it is by far the #1 plugin vehicle producer in the world, with Tesla solidly in second place but BYD benefiting from all of those plugin hybrids it sells on top of its BEVs.
We’ve also mentioned here and there that BYD has an extremely high level of vertical integration, and while Tesla gets much more attention for its vertical integration, BYD may even surpass Tesla in that regard. No matter who has vertically integrated more, though, they both do it to a very high degree.
Well, this latest news brings the two matters together in a big way. BYD has gotten its own shipping vessel in order to in-house the shipping of thousands of plugin vehicles around the world. Its ro-ro vessel, Explorer 1, was built by Guangzhou Shipbuilding International, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, and just completed a 7-day trial based out of Yantai, Shandong.
The vessel reportedly produces lower carbon emissions than a typical car-shipping vessel, and it can transport up to 7,000 vehicles.
“What sets it apart is adopting a natural gas (LNG)/fuel dual-fuel propulsion system, marking a notable move toward cleaner energy solutions in maritime transport. Additionally, the vessel incorporates a battery system and a shaft generator for the first time. The ship’s design also includes energy-saving features such as energy-efficient devices, drag-reducing measures, and anti-fouling paint,” CarNewsChina writes. “The BYD 7000 dual-fuel PCTC ship is part of the PCTC series and boasts a length of 199.9 meters, a width of 38 meters, a design draft of 9 meters, and a design speed of 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h).”
BYD is reportedly getting a second vessel built from this shipyard as well as 6 from another ship-building company that should be able to transport up to 7,700 vehicles. And there’s an option for two more from that latter company. So, in total, BYD might end up with 10 of its own shipping vessels — well, from this phase of its growth and expansion. The expected investment is 5 billion yuan, or about $700 million.
One key thing this initiative is supposed to help with is shipments to Europe, where there are stricter emissions regulations than elsewhere in the world. “This initiative is expected to address the longstanding logistical challenges European shipping companies face, presenting a considerable breakthrough in sea transportation.”
However, it’s not just about Europe. BYD is expanding to more and more markets in Asia, Oceania, Africa, South America, and North America. With its own vessels, it can sure cut some costs and customize its routes as needed. The company can ship tens of thousands of EVs overseas and skip the middle man. Just in November alone, BYD exported 30,629 vehicles. From January through November, the company exported 206,679 vehicles. Expect BYD to ramp up its export business, reach more markets than anyone else with its EVs, and continue its phenomenal leadership in the global EV market with these latest improvements to its logistics.