BYD’s Han electric car, pictured here at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, is one of the most popular new energy vehicles in China.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

GUANGZHOU, China – BYD sold 61,409 new cars in August, more than four times the amount sold a year ago as demand for electric cars continues to grow in the world’s largest auto market.

This number was split almost equally between sales of battery-electric vehicles and so-called plug-in hybrids.

It was also an increase from the 50,492 cars sold in July. BYD stock rose 5.5% in morning trade in Hong Kong.

BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the largest electric vehicle manufacturers in China. But a number of startups like Nio, Li Auto, and XPeng have tried to challenge this. Still, these three are currently smaller, and all under 10,000 cars were shipped in August.

BYD’s numbers focus on sales volumes, while Nio, Li Auto and XPeng have released delivery numbers, so the comparison is not comparable but does indicate the size of each company.

The auto industry around the world is grappling with two major problems – the ongoing pandemic and a shortage of semiconductors used in automobiles.

BYD did not comment on the August numbers. However, in its half-year results released last month, the company said that “profitability will be affected to some extent by factors including rising prices for raw materials and bulk goods.”

Despite the problems affecting the auto industry, the demand for electric vehicles in China continues to grow as the government pushes the development of the sector.

According to a Reuters report with comments from the Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China is expected to sell 1.7 million new energy vehicles in the first eight months of this year, an increase from 600,000 cars made in the same period of 2020 on Saturday .

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