BEIJING: New energy vehicle (NEV) sales in China surged 26 percent to 109,000 units in August for their second consecutive month of gain, a promising sign for automakers that have invested heavily in the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles (EVs).
For the full year, NEV sales are likely to reach 1.1 million vehicles, down about 11 percent from last year, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Thursday. NEVs include battery-powered electric, plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
“The sales rebound was fuelled by rural NEV sales promotion events and local governments’ support,” said senior CAAM official, Chen Shihua.
EV makers, from home-grown Nio and Xpeng to US leader Tesla, are expanding manufacturing capacity in China where the government heavily promotes greener vehicles as a means of reducing chronic air pollution.
“There was a new-car effect in August, as a new mini EV model from GM’s local venture and Tesla’s Model 3 both sold well,” said senior LMC automotive analyst, Alan Kang. “Sales at EV startups like Nio and Xpeng were stable too.” Upcoming NEV sales will be about the same as in August, Kang said.
China’s overall auto sales in August rose 11.6 percent to 2.19 million vehicles from the same month a year earlier, the fifth consecutive month of gain as China comes off lows hit during the coronavirus lockdown in the first few months of the year.
Sales are still down 9.7 percent for the first eight months of the year at 14.55 million vehicles, CAAM said.
Sales of trucks and other commercial vehicles, about a quarter of the market, surged 41.6 percent, driven by government investment in infrastructure and as buyers upgraded to comply with tougher emissions rules.