[News] BYD Amasses 13,000 EV Patents, 15 Times More Than Tesla

Source to Carfun, in the past two decades, Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD has been relentlessly pursuing patents for EV technology, amassing a staggering 13,000 patent applications, a figure more than 15 times greater than Tesla’s modest 863 patents. The stark contrast primarily boils down to one critical component: batteries. BYD not only produces its own batteries but also conducts extensive research and development in this domain. This relentless patent activity is primarily aimed at safeguarding its battery technology.

Recently, a Japanese software company named Patent Result conducted a comprehensive study on EV patents and uncovered some intriguing findings. Between 2003 and 2022, BYD submitted over 13,000 patent applications, while Tesla, during the same period, only filed 863 patents. What’s even more striking is that more than half of BYD’s patent applications pertain to battery technology. This underscores BYD’s unique approach compared to other automakers since they internally develop their batteries. In contrast, most other manufacturers rely on third-party suppliers, making them more reliant on patents to protect their battery technology from imitation.

Batteries constitute a vital element of electric vehicles, and BYD’s approach differs significantly from its competitors. Developing in-house battery technology demands greater dedication and effort. However, other battery manufacturers might attempt to replicate their innovations by dissecting their battery packs. BYD’s blade battery, which uses lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material, has established itself as a leader in the development and production of this kind of battery. It offers superior safety and cost-effectiveness compared to nickel, cobalt, manganese (or aluminum) ternary lithium batteries. Nonetheless, filing patents comes with its own set of risks, as patent applications are made public, potentially enabling competitors to derive various technologies from them.

Take Tesla, for instance. Although Tesla has only submitted 863 patents over the past two decades, its research and development heavily rely on the utilization of publicly available information and software. Consequently, its patents largely relate to charging infrastructure and communication between electric vehicles and drivers. This highlights the divergent priorities in their EV development strategies. Tesla also employs advanced production techniques within its factories to reduce the risk of replication by other companies. The question that arises is whether BYD, with its extensive patent portfolio, can translate this into improved sales and challenge the dominant position of global EV leaders. The answer to this query may become apparent within the next 5 years, as the competition in the electric vehicle sector continues to intensify. (Image credit: BYD)


[News] Volvo Declares the End of their Diesel Car Will be Produced in early 2024

Source to Volvo’s recent announcement, by 2030 Volvo plans to sell only fully electric cars, and by 2040 aims to be a climate-neutral company. That clear roadmap towards all-out electrification represents one of the most ambitious transformation plans of any legacy car maker. At Climate Week NYC Volvo announced the end of production of all diesel-powered Volvo Car models by early 2024. In a few months from now, the last diesel-powered Volvo car will have been built.

“Electric powertrains are our future, and superior to combustion engines: they generate less noise, less vibration, less servicing costs for our customers, and zero tailpipe emissions,” says Jim Rowan, Chief Executive at Volvo Cars. “We’re fully focused on creating a broad portfolio of premium, fully electric cars that deliver on everything our customers expect from a Volvo – and are a key part of our response to climate change.”

Volvo’s decision to completely phase out diesel by early 2024 illustrates how rapidly both the car industry and customer demand are changing in the face of the climate crisis.

Only four years ago, the diesel engine was Volvo’s bread and butter in Europe, as was the case for most other car makers. The majority of cars we sold on the continent in 2019 were powered by a diesel engine, while electrified models were only just beginning to make their mark.

That trend has largely inverted itself since then, driven by changing market demand, tighter emission regulations as well as brand’s focus on electrification. The majority of Volvo’s sales in Europe now consists of electrified cars, with either a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Fewer diesel cars on the streets also have a positive effect on urban air quality; while diesels emit less CO2 than petrol engines, they emit more gases such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) that have an adverse effect on air quality especially in built-up areas. (Source: Volvo)


[News] BYD Reveals Second Model’s Price in Japan, NIO Raises Funds for Debt Repayment

Source to media China Timse,  in the realm of China’s mainland new energy vehicle industry, NIO announced on the 20th that it has successfully secured $1 billion in funding through two convertible corporate bond offerings. This move aims not only to reduce existing debt but also to strengthen its balance sheet. In addition, BYD has unveiled the pricing for its electric vehicle model, Dolphin, which is making its entry into the Japanese market.

The starting price for Dolphin in Japan is 3.63 million Japanese yen, approximately $24,565.2 USD. This Dolphin model is BYD’s second entry into the Japanese automotive market. For those seeking a longer-endurance version of Dolphin, the price is set at 4.07 million Japanese yen. Earlier this year, BYD introduced a higher-priced electric SUV in Japan.

Another electric vehicle manufacturer in China, NIO, has disclosed that it raised $500 million through a 6-year convertible bond issuance and another $500 million through a 7-year convertible bond offering. These bonds are categorized as senior unsecured bonds, with a yield of 3.875% for the 6-year bonds and 4.625% for the 7-year bonds.

Upon the release of this news, NIO’s stock price in Hong Kong experienced a sharp 12% drop during the morning session on the 20th. NIO plans to allocate some of the raised funds to repurchase existing debt securities and enhance its financial resilience.

NIO had previously announced at the end of August that they plan to launch their first self-developed smartphone around the end of September. They aim to enhance the attractiveness of their vehicles by leveraging improved software connectivity. During the second quarter, NIO reported a net loss of 6.12 billion RMB, approximately $8.3951 billion USD, compared to a net loss of 2.75 billion RMB in the same period last year. (Image credit: BYD )


[NEWS] BYD Electric Cars Outperform Tesla in Southeast Asia, with Thailand as the Largest Overseas Market

Report to InfoTimes, Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD is making impressive strides in Southeast Asia, not only leaving strong rivals like Tesla far behind but also dominating the market share in the region. Currently, in the local market, at least one out of every four electric vehicles is a BYD.

Industry analysts point out that BYD’s competitive advantage lies in its affordability and high value for money. Early on, the company partnered with large enterprises and conglomerates in Southeast Asia, adopting a distribution model to sell its vehicles. This approach allowed BYD to gradually expand its influence, understand the preferences of Southeast Asian car owners, and navigate the complex local regulations without running afoul of them.

According to TrendForce, in Q2, BEVs alone posted sales of 2.151 million units, marking 39.3% growth YoY. While Tesla maintains the lead with a market share of 21.7%, but BYD trails closely behind with a boosted share of 16.2%. In PHEVs, with the registering sales of 876,000 units in Q2—a striking 52.9% YoY increase. Astonishingly, about 66% of these sales hailed from the Chinese market. In this segment, BYD continued its lead with a whopping 36.5% market share.

In fact, this sales model is not something BYD pioneered. Japanese automakers employed a similar strategy decades ago when entering Southeast Asia. Collaborating with local businesses in a united front, as opposed to competing directly with Tesla, set BYD’s marketing approach apart.

Data reveals that BYD has forged partnerships with various Southeast Asian entities, including Sime Darby, a conglomerate with over a century of history in Malaysia and Singapore, Bakrie & Brothers in Indonesia, Ayala, a renowned conglomerate in the Philippines, and Rever Automotive in Thailand.

Automobile sales consultancy firm Urban Science believes that BYD’s collaboration with prominent local conglomerates helps establish a stable foothold before gaining fame. When Southeast Asian consumers have reservations about Chinese-made cars, knowing that well-known large corporations are involved should provide reassurance, particularly in terms of after-sales service.

Recently, BYD has invested nearly $500 million in building a new factory in Thailand. Starting in 2024, it aims to produce 150,000 electric vehicles annually and export them to various Southeast Asian and European countries. AC Motors, a subsidiary of the Philippines’ Ayala Group, plans to establish more than ten BYD service centers in the Philippines within the next 12 months.

AC Motors emphasizes that the initial focus of its operations is on building brand confidence and encouraging more people to consider buying electric vehicles. Some individuals may have concerns about running out of power with electric cars or find their prices too high.

Currently, Tesla has only opened two stores in Singapore, which caters to a higher-income demographic. However, Tesla is also actively recruiting in Thailand and Malaysia. Leveraging Elon Musk’s personal global influence, Tesla can operate directly toward consumers after leaving the United States, a strategy that sets it apart from other automakers.

To increase its visibility, BYD has partnered with Sime Darby Group to launch five BYD by 1826 centers in Singapore, combining car showrooms with delicious restaurants. This innovative approach aims to attract more people to discover the BYD brand through fine dining and, in turn, become part of BYD’s growing community of car owners. (Image credit: BYD)


[News] Declining Battery Costs to Drive Electric Vehicle Market Share to Two-Thirds Globally by 2023

Report to China Times, due to the declining cost of batteries, by 2024, the prices of electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe will be on par with those of gasoline-powered cars, while the American market will have to wait until 2026. Furthermore, it’s projected that by 2030, two-thirds of all cars sold globally will be electric vehicles.

A report released on the 14th by the non-profit organization Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) predicts that battery costs will be cut in half over the next decade. This reduction will bring the cost of batteries down from $151 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2022 to a range between USD 60~90.

According to TrendForce, in 1H23, the total sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs, including BEV, PHEV, FCEV), including pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, reached 5.462 million units, by YoY of 33.6%. Specifically, NEV sales in the second quarter amounted to 3.03 million units, up 42.8% YoY, and accounting for 14.4% of the overall automobile sales in the second quarter.

Price-wise, TrendForce believes that when the cost of pure electric cars falls below approximately USD100 per kWh, there will be an opportunity to compete with gasoline cars.

By 2030, electric vehicle prices will finally match those of gasoline cars. The high cost of EV batteries, which accounts for approximately 40% of the price of electric cars, has been a barrier preventing many consumers from affording electric vehicles. RMI points out that automakers are investing in the development of new battery chemistries, materials, and software to improve electric vehicle efficiency, gradually driving down both battery and electric vehicle prices. RMI analysts suggest that as electric vehicles rapidly grow in popularity in Europe and China, EV sales could increase at least six times by 2030, with a global market share of 62~86%.

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