Tesla Motors Inc CEO – Elon Musk – is passionately working to get rid of all the barriers slowing the growth of his electric car firm. He made a huge investment recently in buying the solar-power firm – SolarCity, and is also close to completion of the Gigafactory. Despite these efforts a Chinese rival is ahead in reaching similar goals, notes a report from Green Tech Media.
Tesla vs. BYD
Musk has a master plan of creating an affordable electric car that has a very high density battery, and could store solar-generated energy. Musk hopes he will be able to accelerate the transition the world is making towards sustainable energy with this. However, a Shenzhen-based firm – named ‘Build Your Dreams’ run by CEO Wang Chunafu – is way ahead of Musk in achieving such goals, says Green Tech Media.
Tesla Motors Inc just has an electric sedan as part of its production plans while BYD has electric cars, delivery vans, gas-powered vehicles, buses and hybrid cars as well. The US firm sold 51,000 cars in 2015 while BYD sold 62,000 cars in comparison.
BYD has four electric-bus factories, which is not just surprising, but great news for cities as well. BYD has already shipped 10,000 electric buses until now, and has orders for 7,000 more. BYD is ahead of Tesla in terms of battery storage as well. Last year, it produced 10 GW-hours of lithium-iron phosphate batteries while Tesla had 8 GWh, the report says.
BYD – a known name
BYD is already a known name in the US. As per a report in the Huffington Post, the investment arm of Warren Buffet – Berkshire Hathaway – bought a 10% stake in the Chinese firm in 2014. This backing helped BYD to land a contract with the California cities – Long Beach and Los Angeles – for delivery of an all-electric bus fleet.
But after BYD was accused of paying low wages to their workers engaged in making buses that could be unsafe, the Federal Transit Administration forced the cancellation of the contract. That happened nearly two years ago, and since then, BYD has landed contracts worth more than $15m to build 64 electric trucks for environmental and energy agencies in California.
Meanwhile, Tesla Motors Inc has lot of hopes attached to the Model 3, and hopefully, it will help the US firm catch up with BYD – provided the plan is executed timely. There are concerns whether Tesla will actually be able to meet that since the firm has a history of struggles even with modest levels of mass production.
In pre-market trading today, Tesla shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is down over 5% while in the last one-year, it is down almost 7%. The stock has a 52-week high of $271.57 and a 52-week low of $141.05.