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This Tesla challenger is emerging as a stock market winner

While global growth of the electric car market is stuttering, BYD continues to dominate a Chinese market that is in better health, thanks in part to generous government subsidies. 

The company’s production and sales volumes continue to soar and BYD is now expected to deliver more electric vehicles than Tesla in the last three months of this year.

Sales to its domestic market account for the bulk of that growth, but overseas sales are rising too. Electric vehicle exports accounted for 10pc of total deliveries in October, up from 4pc a year ago.

The numbers are not yet at levels that will trouble incumbent carmakers in Europe and America but BYD’s export momentum is building and hard to ignore. Even if the global electric car market isn’t growing as quickly as it once was, BYD has ample opportunity to capture more market share outside China.

Crucial to its appeal is its pricing. An entry-level Dolphin, which the company launched in Britain this year, costs £25,490, which puts it among the cheapest electric cars on the British market. 

But it is in its domestic market that the company is breaking new ground: its small Seagull hatchback, which houses a cheaper-to-produce sodium-ion battery, went on sale in China at a starting price of 73,800 yuan (£8,200) earlier this year.

BYD’s lower-cost vehicle range helps to answer one of the major criticisms of electric cars, that they are too expensive.

Their impressive ranges and relatively quick recharging meanwhile counter another potential barrier to customers switching from petrol to electric cars. BYD’s Blade battery can offer a range of 376 miles, recharge from 30pc to 80pc in 26 minutes and deliver 3,000 charging cycles.