BYD storms into Europe as first car transport ship docks in Germany carrying 3K vehicles

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Global EV leader BYD is taking Europe by storm. BYD’s first cargo ship landed in Germany Tuesday, with about 3,000 vehicles set to roll out

BYD’s first cargo ship lands in Germany with 3K cars

BYD’s first car transport ship, the Explorer No.1, arrived in China earlier this year. The so-called “Ro-Ro” (roll on, roll off) transport ship is 653 ft long and can carry 7,000 vehicles.

The ship is owned by Zodiac Maritime, with BYD leasing it. The vessel is the first of eight for exports. As the first ship built by a Chinese shipyard designed for exporting vehicles, BYD’s Explorer No.1 marks a major milestone. Electric cars already helped China top Japan to become the leading global auto exporter.

By using green and clean liquified natural gas as the main fuel, China International Marine Containers Group (CIMC), which built the vessel, says it can “significantly reduce emissions.”

After setting sail earlier this month, BYD’s first cargo ship landed in Bremerhaven, Germany, on Tuesday. Around 3,000 BYD vehicles will be unloaded and launched as the automaker expands its overseas presence.

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The BYD Explorer No. 1 (Source: CIMC)

The company plans to use the Ro-Ro vessels not only for BYD vehicles but also to open partnerships with Chinese automakers, according to BYD Corporate GM Wang Junbao.

Overseas expansion is heating up

BYD’s overseas expansion is just beginning. The automaker produced over 3 million cars in China and sold about 240,000 overseas. Its new car transport fleet is expected to accelerate exports.

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BYD Atto 3 (Source: BYD Japan)

The Chinese automaker already owns 20% of Japan’s EV imports last month after launching just last year. It’s also a leader in Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, and others. Recent launches in Australia, India, and other key markets should boost exports this year.

BYD also showed off its Mercedes G-Class rivaling Yangwang U8 off-road SUV at Tuesday’s Geneva Motor Show.

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Yangwang U8 (Source: BYD/Yangwang)

Yangwang was launched last January as BYD’s ultra-luxury brand. The U8 off-roader was the first vehicle launched, with the first models rolling out last December. BYD’s electric SUV includes premium features like tank turns and “float mode” to help during deep water emergencies.

BY’s Yangwang revealed its first electric sedan, the U7, last month. It also officially launched the U9 electric supercar with a 0 to 62 mph time in 2.36 seconds and a $233,000 (1,680,000 yuan) price tag.

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BYD Yangwang U9 electric supercar (Source: BYD)

Although BYD has recently expanded into new segments like luxury and mid-size SUVs, it recently declared a price war on gas-powered cars with the launch of its cheapest EVs yet.

BYD launched the new Dolphin EV Honor Edition for $13,900 (99,800 yuan) and the Qin Plus EV Honor Edition for $15,000 (109,800 yuan). The automaker said the models open “a new era of electricity is lower than oil.”

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BYD Dolphin EV Honor Edition (Source: BYD)

Last year, BYD launched the Qin Plus Champion Edition for $13,900, the first time BYD’s DM-i model was priced below the 100,000 yuan mark. BYD said with the same starting price as gas-powered vehicles, the new launches are “directly destroying the moat of joint venture fuel vehicles.”

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