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BYD, backed by Warren Buffett, bought fewer all-electric vehicles than it did earlier than the pandemic

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

BEIJING – Chinese automaker BYD sold fewer all-electric cars in the first six months of this year than in the same period in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which is backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, said Monday it sold 20,016 all-electric cars in June for a total of 93,440 units in the first half – twice as many as last year.

However, this growth lagged behind sales of 95,779 fully electric cars in the first six months of 2019.

In June, BYD also sold 84 more cars with hybrid drives than purely electric ones. This was in contrast to a recent trend where BYD's all-electric cars outperform hybrids.

Car sales in China probably fell 14.9% year-on-year in June, the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced on Monday. Overall vehicle sales are likely to have decreased to 1.93 million units in June, a decrease of 16.3% compared to the previous year and a decrease of 9.5% compared to the previous month, the association said.

The figures show that China's vehicle sales have still increased over the past two years.

According to estimates by the association, China would have sold 12.8 million vehicles in the first half of 2021. That's 24.8% more than a year ago and more than 12.3 million units sold in the same period in 2019.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

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