BYD , the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) maker, posted record quarterly profit as mainland Chinese buyers lapped up its affordable models, lifting earnings 12 times. The Shenzhen-based company backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made a profit of 7.3 billion yuan (US$1.06 billion) in the three months to December, compared with 602 million yuan in the same period a year earlier. The previous profit record of 5.7 billion yuan was set in the third quarter. The fourth quarter data was calculated by subtracting its full-year earnings of 166.2 billion yuan published on Tuesday from its nine-month results published in late October, according to its filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company “will accelerate development of more new-energy vehicles for passenger use”, BYD said in a filing on Tuesday. “We will extend our product line to vie for a bigger market share and consolidate our position in the industry.” Revenue in the quarter jumped 106 per cent to 156.4 billion yuan, buoyed by a 156.7 per cent jump in deliveries, which hit 683,440 units. The earnings per share of 3.74 yuan handsomely beat analysts’ median forecast of 2.09 yuan compiled by Bloomberg. BYD’s sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars started to climb in the second quarter of 2022, helping it dethrone Tesla as the world’s largest EV vendor. The Hong Kong and Shenzhen-listed carmaker more than tripled its 2022 sales to 1.86 million units, most of them in China. Tesla delivered about 1.31 million EVs globally last year. While that total was up about 40 per cent from 2021, the US carmaker failed to reach its 2022 goal of delivering more than 1.4 million units. In late 2022, more middle-class consumers in China drifted towards cheaper models assembled by BYD as they shunned premium cars built by Tesla and its mainland rivals like Xpeng and Nio . Most of BYD’s vehicles are priced below 200,000 yuan, compared with about 300,000 yuan for smart EVs. BYD’s blade lithium iron phosphate battery packs have proved their quality with drivers and carmakers. The battery cells are arranged in a manner that increases energy density while enhancing resistance to overheating. The blade batteries have also been supplied to Tesla’s factory in Berlin. Chinese EV maker doubles down on battery-swap model with 1,000 new stations “BYD chalked up sterling gains last year because its vehicles were viewed by more Chinese motorists as value-for-money products,” said Eric Han, a senior manager at Suolei, an advisory firm in Shanghai. “But it will face challenges in both the domestic and overseas markets this year because new models launched by other brands will probably dilute its market share.” For the full year, BYD’s net profit rose 445.9 per cent year on year to 166.2 billion yuan. Founded by Chinese billionaire Wang Chuanfu in 1995, BYD has been making vehicles since 2003. It mainly sells cars in mainland China, but is looking to become a global player with plans to expand in some overseas markets.