The Download: shipping China’s EVs, and new greener magnets


Earlier this month, a massive ship picked up over 5,000 electric cars from two ports in northern and southern China. Five days later, it passed through Singapore, and it is now headed for India. However, its final destination is in Europe, where most of the cars will be sold. 

The ship’s name is BYD Explorer No.1. As the first of a massive fleet that BYD is building, it reflects the Chinese company’s ambition to establish a seafaring business that supports its new role in the global car trade.

There’s rising appetite for BYD’s cars overseas. In 2023, BYD exported over 240,000 vehicles, up from 55,000 in 2022. But it’s run into a snag: to get the most financial benefit from its exploding popularity abroad, it’s having to expand beyond the car trade into the shipping business. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

To read more about BYD’s shipping ambitions, check out the latest edition of China Report, our weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on all things happening in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.

How new magnets could accelerate climate action

The motor in your vacuum cleaner and the one in your electric vehicle likely have at least one thing in common: they both rely on powerful permanent magnets to function. But the materials for those magnets could soon be in short supply. 


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