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Chinese plug-in car sales to hit a million
One in two of world’s EVs sold in China where plug-in car sales are soaring
22 Nov 2018
SALES of plug-in vehicles in China this year are on track to crack one million, accounting for about half of the world’s expected volume of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2018.
Chinese electrified car sales in October were up 85 per cent, to a record 119,400 units, taking year-to-date plug-in vehicle sales there to 751,000 units and putting plug-ins on target to take a Chinese market share of about 4 per cent this year.
Despite a slowing of general vehicle sales in the world’s biggest motor market in recent months, sales of what China describes as New Energy Vehicles (NEV) have be driven upwards by a swarm of new models and government measures to cut vehicle emissions, including quotas on vehicle manufacturers.
Because car sales in the final two months of the year are usually among the strongest of the year in China, industry pundits expect NEV sales to comfortably make one million sales and possibly 1.1 million – more than was sold in the entire world last year.
Globally, forecasts suggest EV sales will double to a record 2.1 million in 2018, with Europe (about 430,000) and the United States (360,000) running second and third to China.
About two-thirds of the global plug-in sales are all-electric battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) making up the remainder. In China, the percentage of BEVs is higher, about 75 per cent.
About 40 manufacturers are vying for a slice of the NEV pie in China, collectively offering more than 100 electrified models – almost double the number of EV varieties on that market last year (56).
Unlike general passenger car sales where foreign brands rule, Chinese domestic car-makers dominate plug-in sales, with makers such as BAIC (Beijing Auto), BYD, Hawtai and Chery among the top sellers.
In October, BAIC’s EC-Series electric runabout topped the charts with a record 20,648 sales – well ahead of the next-best BYD Tang SUV PHEV (6037) and BYD Yuan EV (5803).
The EC-Series become the first EV to be ranked in the monthly top 20 sellers in the overall passenger car market due to its affordability and popularity in big cities where electric vehicles are easier to register than internal combustion vehicles.
Foreign brands are playing catch-up in EV sales, with BMW and Tesla leading the charge so far. BMW’s 530e is the top-selling foreign NEV, but Tesla is about to ramp up the Model 3.
All brands need to achieve a quota of EVs in their sales by government order, so the pressure is on to make the switch, especially in the market leaders General Motors and Volkswagen.
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