Chinese auto firm, BYD, has overtaken US car maker, Tesla, as the top manufacturer of all-electric vehicles in the world. This is according to sales figures released Tuesday.

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The US-based car manufacturer, run by billionaire, Elon Musk delivered 484,507 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2023, said a company filing, up more than 11 per cent from the previous quarter.

But this increase was not enough to maintain Tesla’s crown as the world’s top battery electric vehicle producer and seller, as Chinese rival BYD reported sales on Monday of 526,409 for the same period.

These figures, according to AFP on Tuesday, underscore the challenges “Tesla will likely face this year, from competitors keen to capitalise on the growing demand for EVs.

“Tesla’s stock slipped after the news was announced, before regaining ground.

“As well as besting Tesla in pure electric vehicle sales, BYD sold more than 400,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the fourth quarter.

“In total, it sold more than three million passenger vehicles last year.”

However, Tesla was still the top seller of EVs on an annual basis, delivering more than 1.8 million vehicles to customers in the year to December, well above BYD’s sales figure of just under 1.6 million.