The electric vehicle industry is setting a new record.
2022 was another historic year for electric vehicles, with annual production exceeding 10 million cars for the first time. This is a considerable increase from the 2021 figure of 6.7 million, according to VisualCapitalist.
BYD Auto has overtaken Tesla to become the new king of electric vehicles, increasing its production by 211% in 2022. Given this trajectory, the company will likely become the first automaker in the world to produce more than 2 million electric vehicles in – a single year.
The Chinese manufacturer has a limited presence in foreign markets, but this could change quite quickly. The company is planning a major push into Europe, where it is expected to build factories to avoid EU tariffs on Chinese car imports.
The company is also building a factory in Thailand to produce right-hand drive models for markets such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
How Tesla, BYD and Hyundai fared
Tesla has increased production by a respectable 40% in 2022, staying ahead of Western brands like Volkswagen (+10%) and GM (+13%), but lagging behind its Chinese rivals like Geely (+251%).
Whether these Chinese brands can maintain their triple-digit growth figures is uncertain, but one thing is clear: Tesla is facing more competition than ever.
The company is targeting annual production of 20 million cars by 2030, meaning it will need to maintain double-digit annual growth rates for the rest of the decade. To support this initiative, Tesla is planning a multibillion-dollar factory in Mexico capable of producing 1 million cars a year.
Hyundai Motor Company, which also owns Kia, has seen a similar growth rate to Tesla. The South Korean automaker was a relatively early player in the electric vehicle space, unveiling the first Hyundai Ioniq in 2016.
In late 2022, several countries, including South Korea, expressed their disapproval of the Biden administration’s Inflation Relief Act, which withdrew tax credits for electric vehicles not produced in the United States.
Hyundai is currently building a $5.5 billion electric vehicle factory in the state of Georgia, but that facility won’t become operational until 2025. Meanwhile, South Korea has overhauled its own EV subsidy program to favor domestic brands.