BYD Starts Shipping EVs on Explorer No. 1
As BYD announced a little more than a month ago, it is getting into the ocean vessel business. The world’s top seller of electric vehicles has started buying ocean vessels to ship its electric cars around the world. Talk about vertical integration — from batteries to ocean vessels, BYD is taking the future into its hands and building its dreams. Okay, that was probably a touch too far, but it also feels 100% true. Wang Chuanfu wasn’t joking when he named this company.
Now, BYD’s first ocean vessel is on its first journey. Explorer No. 1, which is apparently the name of BYD’s first vessel, is on its way from Shenzhen, China, to … well … somewhere. Specifically, Explorer No.1 departed from Xiaomo International Logistics Port, after being delivered to Yantai Port in Shandong Province on January 10. Talk about a turnaround! It took BYD just 5 days to receive the shipping vessel, check to make sure all the cupboards are in the right place, load it up with electric cars, and send it off on its first mission. Vertical integration: check. Rapid action and deployment: check.
But, that’s correct, we don’t have information from BYD on where its new roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) carrier is headed, and we also don’t know which EV models are on it, but one can assume it’s a mixture of the BYD Atto 3, BYD Dolphin, BYD Han, BYD Seagull, and
BYD Otter. Whoops, that last one’s not a thing. You can also try to figure out the mixture to some extent via the image above if you’re talented at that kind of thing.
Now, the BYD Explorer No. 1 isn’t fully electric itself. However, it does seem to be integrating some of BYD’s own battery tech. “The EXPLORER NO.1, proudly bearing the BYD nameplate, will undoubtedly provide a significant boost to BYD’s international logistics capabilities amidst constrained global ro-ro shipping resources,” BYD writes. “Measuring 199.9 meters in length, the vessel also exemplifies BYD’s commitment to sustainable shipping owing to pioneering advancements in green and intelligent shipbuilding technologies. With an exceptional loading capacity of 7,000 vehicles, the EXPLORER NO.1 is equipped with an innovative dual-fuel LNG (liquefied natural gas) and conventional fuel propulsion system. Over the next two years, seven more vessels are expected to join the fleet, all integrating BYD’s energy storage battery tech and shaft generator systems, truly embodying BYD’s vision for a greener maritime transportation era.” We’ll have to tap some experts in shipping technology and greening ocean vessels in order to get a better read on how big this is.
Aside from being the world’s top seller of full electric vehicles (BEVs) in the 4th quarter, BYD also indicates that it’s the world’s top seller of power batteries. It is not surprising to find out the company is looking for another way to put these into another climate-friendly solution, and potentially open up another market for itself in the giant ship industry!
One thing I also have just started wondering: if BYD is confident in what it’s doing with these ro-ro ships, maybe it will decide to offer EV shipping to other automakers before the decade is up. Why not? If BYD can do it greener, that’s a win.
“Capitalizing on its leadership position in the NEV sector through industrial scale, advanced technology, and manufacturing prowess, BYD achieved a remarkable feat in 2023, exporting 242,765 NEVs with a stunning year-on-year growth of 334.2%. Meanwhile, its total annual NEV sales soared to over 3.02 million units, solidifying BYD’s status as the world’s foremost seller of new energy vehicles. Today, BYD’s new energy footprint spans six continents, engaging over 70 countries and regions worldwide, reaching into more than 400 cities, emphasizing its profound impact and reach in promoting green mobility solutions across the globe.” Indeed — impressive growth, impressive expansion, and impressive cleantech leadership. We need more BYDs in the world.
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