China’s EV Market Charges Forward: Warren Buffett-Backed BYD Predicts 50% NEV Penetration As Top Players Unveil Strategies

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Markets

China’s electric vehicle market is poised for a major leap forward, with Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co Ltd (OTC:BYDDF) (OTC:BYDDY) — which beat Tesla to become the world’s largest seller of battery electric vehicles last year — predicting a major shift in the new energy vehicle (NEV) landscape this year.

This bullish outlook set the stage for the China EV 100 Forum in Beijing, where key players outlined their ambitions and strategies for navigating the rapidly evolving landscape.

BYD Foresees NEV Market Tipping Point

“The penetration rate of NEVs crossed 48.2 percent last week, and if it continues at this rate, I estimate that the penetration could cross 50 percent in the next three months,” BYD chairman and president Wang Chuanfu said in his speech at the event, as reported by CnEVPost.

This aggressive forecast comes just a month after Wang projected the milestone would be reached sometime this year. China categorizes NEVs as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles.

BYD’s Shenzhen-listed shares have surged 13.2% year-to-date, while Hong Kong listings are up 3.53%.

See Also: 5 Best Chinese Stocks Right Now

Nio Pushes for Long-Life Batteries

Nio Inc (NYSE:NIO) founder and CEO William Li called for an industry-wide focus on developing long-life batteries, highlighting the high costs consumers face for battery replacements without warranties. 

“China contributes 60 percent of global NEV sales, so we are facing this problem first. From my point of view, it’s urgent to solve the battery life issue,” he said, reiterating his stance from Nio’s long-life battery strategy launch two days prior when the company signed a deal with CATL to co-develop these extended-life batteries.

Nio’s New York-listed shares have dipped 33% year-to-date, while Hong Kong shares reflect a similar decline.

XPeng Targets Budget Segment with New Brand

XPeng unveiled plans to launch a new EV brand catering to the price-conscious consumer, offering vehicles between 100,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan. This marks a strategic shift from XPeng’s current lineup positioned in the premium segment above 200,000 yuan. The company has yet to reveal the new brand’s name.

XPeng’s New York-listed shares have fallen 31.34% year-to-date, while Hong Kong listings are down 28.2%.

Li Auto Considers Sales Target Adjustment

Li Auto is contemplating lowering the sales target for its Li ONE multipurpose vehicle due to underwhelming performance. Initial targets for the 559,800 yuan vehicle surpassed 70,000 units.

Li Auto’s Hong Kong shares are down slightly year-to-date, while Nasdaq listings show a near 9.2% increase.

Huawei Anticipates Auto Unit Profitability

Despite incurring a 6 billion yuan loss in its auto division last year, Huawei expects to turn a profit in 2024 on the back of strong sales, according to unit chairman Richard Yu. The U.S.-sanctioned company last year said it aimed to make an EV that would be “superior to Tesla’s Model S.”

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: Tesla Doles Out Free Choice Of Paint In China To Boost Sales, Asks Customers in Europe To ‘Order Within 2 Mins’ To Beat Upcoming Model Y Price Hike

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