Here’s Why BYD Is Charging Twice The China Price For EVs Sold Abroad

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BYD overtook Tesla for the number of EVs it sold globally in the fourth quarter of 2024, thanks to its presence in some significant markets outside its native China. However, it could be selling even more cars if it kept its prices for foreign markets in line with the pricing it practices at home.

Reuters found that BYD is selling its electric vehicles at twice the price it does in China, sometimes even more. There is usually variation in how much some cars cost around the world, and this depends on logistics and local laws, but it’s rarely as much as this. It makes us wonder what BYD is trying to achieve by implementing these hefty markups.

The obvious answer would be that it wants to make as much money as possible by selling its cars outside China, where it isn’t doing quite as well as it was last year. It seems to be more interested in its profit margins than surpassing Tesla for sheer volumes. This makes sense given the ongoing price wars BYD is engaged in back home, where it’s had to drop prices to stay ahead, and it seems to be compensating for lost profit by making its vehicles more expensive elsewhere.

BYD sells its vehicles in several major European markets (Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom) and in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and others.

The BYD Dolphin EV sells for the equivalent of around $16,500 in China, while in Germany, with the same battery pack, it’s over $37,400, or more than double the price. The Seal costs around $30,300 in China, while a similar version currently on sale in Germany is over $48,000. Reuters found Dolphin prices outside China between 39% and 178% higher, while those for the Seal ranged between 30% and 130% higher.

This type of markup isn’t limited to BYD. Its direct rival, Tesla, sells the China-made Model 3 locally for the equivalent of just under $32,000, while in Germany, the same vehicle starts at almost $43,800. That’s a difference of 36%, which is a lot less than what BYD is practicing. Part of it can be attributed to export tariffs and the price of transporting the vehicles from the factory to their market of destination.

With the markup, the base single-motor BYD Seal costs under $48,000 in Germany before any incentives are applied. That makes it more expensive than its very successful direct rival, the Tesla Model 3, which seems like a strange tactic to use when you’re the new kid on the block trying to woo fans away from the people’s favorite small electric sedan.

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