BYD announces a radical decision: the carmaker wants to push the industry

China’s largest electric vehicle maker, BYD, has said it has stopped producing “petrol and diesel-powered vehicles” since last month in a bid to meet Beijing’s zero carbon net target by 2060. .

The Shenzhen-based company is the world’s first automaker to stop producing conventional vehicles. It now produces only plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles, although it continues to produce engines and other components for plug-in hybrid vehicles and other vehicles with internal combustion engines, according to a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

BYD and five other automakers, including Ford, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz, have joined a global campaign to phase out internal combustion engines by 2040.

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BYD shares listed in Hong Kong rose 5.2% to $ 236.80.

An important step in the race for electrification

In the first three months of this year, BYD increased its sales of new energy vehicles, including electric cars and plug-in hybrids, to more than 286,000 vehicles compared to a year earlier, the company said. Hybrid models still accounted for nearly half of its new-energy car sales in the quarter.

BYD’s blade-shaped lithium-ion batteries, which the company said are safer and have a higher energy density compared to regular block cells, have helped boost sales of all-electric vehicles in recent years. for several years, said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the China Automobile Association.

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BYD raised its model prices by nearly $ 940 in March due to rising costs of raw materials, including metals such as lithium and nickel for battery manufacturing.

Rising costs for such materials could push carmakers to adopt more plug-in hybrid models that contain smaller batteries, industry analysts and executives said.

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