China’s BYD confirmed that it stopped production of pure ICE-powered vehicles in March, and is now exclusively offering BEVs and PHEVs. The announcement was posted on BYD’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook and WeChat.
According to the company, it is “the first automotive manufacturer in the world to stop the production of fuel combusting vehicles”. This bold claim is not entirely true, since there are brands like smart which has gone fully electric since 2019, discontinuing all ICE-powered models from its range. However, most automakers will make the move closer to 2030, when major markets like Europe will begin enforcing sale bans of ICE-powered vehicles.
Last November, BYD teamed up with Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Jaguar Land Rover pledging to cease production of fossil-fuel vehicles around the world by 2040.
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By doing this, BYD has become the first automotive manufacturer in the 🌏 to stop the production of fuel combusting vehicles. pic.twitter.com/352jU41CCX
— BYD (@BYDCompany) April 3, 2022
BYD said that it will continue supporting owners of ICE-powered models by providing “comprehensive services and after-sales guarantees” including production and supply of parts throughout the lifespan of the discontinued products.
Besides becoming an electrified brand, the Chinese carmaker also announced a new sales record in March, with 104,338 units divided into 53,664 BEVs and 50,674 PHEVs. This makes it the most popular maker of new energy vehicles in China, while it was also the global leader in sales of electrified vehicles for the first two months of 2022, ahead of Tesla.
According to Reuters, sales of hybrid cars grew by a massive 857 percent in the first quarter of 2022, accounting for half of BYD’s sales. This means that the automaker will most likely sustain production of combustion engines as part of its hybrid systems for a while. Car News China reports that BYD has upgraded its annual sales forecast for 2022, from 1.2 million to 1.5 million units and even 2 million if they manage to overcome supply issues.