Tesla, Inc. and BYD Auto are two major electric vehicle (EV) automakers. While Tesla is based in the United States and BYD in China, these popular brands are going head to head in markets around the world as they compete to become the world’s leader in EV technology. Explore the key similarities and differences between these automakers and their most popular EVs today.

Tesla vs BYD: Side-by-Side Comparison

Tesla, Inc.BYD (Build Your Dreams) Auto
What It Is:A leading electric vehicle automaker with a popular lineup of luxury vehicles and home energy solutionsAn automotive subsidiary of the Chinese manufacturing company known for manufacturing electric vehicles, hybrid cars, and smart devices
Company Founder(s):Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, Ian Wright, JB Straubel, and Elon MuskWang Chuanfu
Founded:20031995
CEO:Elon MuskWang Chuanfu
Electric Vehicles Sold in 2021:930,422320,810
Number of Employees:Over 99,000About 224,300
Headquarters:Austin, TX (Formerly Palo Alto, CA)Shenzhen, China
Electric Vehicle Lineup:Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Roadster, and Cybertrucke-Series, Dynasty Series, and Ocean Series

Tesla vs BYD: Five Must-Know Facts

  • Tesla is rumored to have placed a major battery cell production order from BYD.
  • Warren Buffet invested $232 million in BYD in 2008.
  • Tesla was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, with Elon Musk joining in 2004 in a Series A funding round.
  • Both companies offer an advanced driver-assist customer experience, with Tesla seeking to advance self-driving car technology.
  • Tesla has a net worth of over $687 billion.

Tesla vs BYD: Comparing Companies

Formerly known as Tesla Motors, the major EV automaker was founded by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs in 2003. The company was named in honor of Nikola Tesla, the inventor. After launching the head-turning and award-winning Roadster, the company made a name for itself with safe, fast, and iconically luxurious EV production.

 Elon Musk became the CEO of Tesla, Inc. and continues to lead the company. As part of the company’s commitment to the future of sustainable energy, Tesla also develops home energy systems and is working toward self-driving vehicle production. The company operates Supercharger stations across the United States, Europe, and other locations to recharge vehicles.

BYD Company started in 1995 as a battery manufacturer. The company continues to manufacture solar cells, smartphones, and other electronic devices. In 2003, BYD Auto was created to develop plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The founder and current CEO, Wang Chuanfu, was once the richest man in China.

BYD is a very diverse EV company, manufacturing many EV models in the e-Series, Dynasty Series, and Ocean Series. The company also manufactures electric buses, forklifts, trucks, the SkyRail system, solar panels, and energy storage systems. BYD discontinued all internal combustion engine manufacturing in March 2022 to focus exclusively on electric vehicle sales. BYD is backed by Warren Buffet, who invested $232 million in the company in 2008 before it became a popular Chinese automaker.

While BYD may be making headway in the Chinese market, Tesla remains the largest EV manufacturer in the world by market cap and net worth. BYD electric vehicles for consumers aren’t currently available in the United States, though they plan to enter the market sometime before 2024.

Tesla Model 3 vs BYD Han EV

Model-3-by-Tesla
The Tesla Model 3 boasts an all-glass roof and 15-inch touchscreen display.

The Tesla Model 3 is a compact EV with an MSRP of $46,990. It’s the most affordable Tesla, though it still costs more than the Han EV, which will have an MSRP in China of approximately $32,800. The Model 3 is a stylish, popular electric vehicle with the following features:

  • All-wheel-drive, dual-motor drivetrain
  • Estimated range of 358 miles per charge
  • Five-star safety rating in every category
  • 480 horsepower combined power
  • All-glass roof
  • Reaches 60 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds
  • Autopilot safety and driver assistance features
  • 15-inch touchscreen display

The 2022 Han EV offers several trim levels that are competitive with the Model 3 in terms of price and features. This BYD luxury sedan comes in both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions. Here are the key features of this BYD offering with a recent release date:

  • Either 241 or 509 horsepower
  • One or two motors
  • Between 444-mile and 379-mile range, depending on the number of motors
  • Blade Battery technology
  • 11 cameras and DiPilot driving assistance
  • Heads-up display
  • Four-wheel-drive version reaches speeds of 62 miles per hour in about 3.9 seconds

The speed and horsepower are comparable between these luxury sedans. The Tesla Model 3 offers slightly more miles per charge but less horsepower than the four-wheel-drive version of the Han EV.

Tesla’s sedan may have more recognizable driver-assist features, but BYD’s DiPilot system also offers a forward-collision warning, lane departure warning, and other driver assistance similarities. Both offer a safe and comfortable customer experience, though the glass roof on the Model 3 offers a more panoramic view.

Tesla Model Y vs BYD Tang EV

The BYD Tang EV boasts an even bigger touchscreen display that Tesla at 15.6 inches.

One of the most popular Tesla EVs is the Model Y. This compact SUV is versatile, flexible, and more affordable than the Model X, Tesla’s luxury EV sport utility vehicle. There are many pros and cons between the two Tesla SUVs but the Model Y is more comparable with the BYD Tang EV. The Model Y was introduced in 2019 and remains a competitive option for EV owners looking for a practical customer experience. Here are some performance features of Tesla’s SUV:

  • MSRP starting at $62,990
  • 15-inch touchscreen dash display
  • Five-star safety rating in every category
  • All-glass roof
  • The top speed is between 135 and 155 miles per hour
  • Up to a 330-mile range
  • 76 cubic feet of cargo space
  • High-performance all-wheel drive dual motor technology
  • Seven seats, with the optional third row
  • Autopilot features, including traffic-aware cruise control, autosteer, and autopark

Another BYD vehicle not currently available in the United States, the Tang EV has many similarities and differences from the Model Y. This EV SUV uses the same innovative Blade Battery technology as other BYD vehicles. Here are some key features to consider as you weigh its pros and cons:

  • MSRP starting at approximately $44,100
  • Seven seats
  • DiPilot driving assistance and safety system
  • Reaches up to 62 miles per hour in approximately 4.6 seconds
  • Range of approximately 311 miles
  • Top speed of 112 miles per hour
  • 15.6-inch touchscreen display

Both SUVs offer similar ranges and seats. The Model Y tops the Tang EV in speed and price. While both vehicles feature a stylish design, Tesla has a signature look that’s easy to recognize and highly popular. The Tang EV has a more traditional exterior and is slightly larger.

Tesla vs BYD: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

Both EV companies promise to deliver a strong lineup of EV vehicles. While BYD EVs aren’t currently available in the United States, they’re expected to be available shortly. There isn’t currently a U.S. release date for consumer BYD EVs. The more affordable price tags that accompany BYD vehicles have helped them expand to being a significant competitor of Tesla.

Another significant feature of BYD is its diversity. Rather than just focusing on luxury EVs and alternative energy solutions for homeowners, BYD also manufactures electric trucks, railway technology, batteries, and solar technology. This manufacturing diversity is one of the important differences between the companies.

Several Tesla models remain the world’s best-selling EVs for a reason. After comparing the pros and cons, Tesla pulls ahead in safety, stylish design features, and building a strong community around their vehicles. It’s easy to see BYD as a strong competitor of the EV giant but it remains to be seen which company will be the long-term leader in the industry.

Tesla vs BYD: How Do They Compare? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are Tesla and BYD known for?

Tesla, led by Elon Musk, is best known for its luxury EV vehicle design, its self-driving car goals, and its commitment to renewable energy. BYD is one of China’s leading EV automakers known for affordable EVs, safe battery technology, and device manufacturing.

Who's more successful, Tesla or BYD?

Tesla is currently a more successful electric vehicle company. In 2021, Tesla sold over 930,000 EVs while BYD sold over 320,000.

Is Tesla bigger than BYD?

Yes, Tesla has more yearly global electric vehicle sales than BYD and other automakers. BYD does, however, have commercial EV and smart device manufacturing areas to create a more diverse company.

Which is better, Tesla or BYD?

As companies, Tesla sells more EVs than BYD and offers more luxury vehicle options. BYD, however, offers more EV options and lower prices.

How long do Tesla cars last?

Tesla vehicles have drivetrains that are expected to last around 750,000 miles, though the company’s goal is a lifetime of one million miles. The batteries reduce in charge capacity by approximately 10% after 200,000 miles.

What are the weaknesses of Tesla?

Tesla doesn’t offer the same variety of EVs, particularly in the entry-level price range, like BYD and other competitors. The company is also reliant on Elon Musk for its branding and a part of its following.

Which is faster, Tesla or BYD?

The fastest BYD car is the Han EV, with top speeds of around 118 miles per hour. Tesla’s 2022 Roadster, with an expected release date in 2023, is estimated to have a top speed of over 250 miles per hour. Even the Model X has a top speed of 155 miles per hour, which is faster than BYD competitors.

How does BYD compare to Tesla?

BYD offers affordable EVs and luxury models that are comparable in price and some performance features to the Tesla Model Y and Model 3. BYD is currently growing faster, though hasn’t reached the sales or net worth figures of Tesla.

Does Tesla use BYD batteries?

Chinese media sources state BYD has received a 10GWh order from Tesla, which would supply about 45% of the company’s batteries. The news has yet to be officially confirmed by either automaker.

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