China’s Private Electric-Vehicle Market Continues To Grow

Electric Vehicles
An electric vehicle. (Photo: Reuters )

More than 10 years ago, at a time when China is starting to develop its electric vehicle market, a huge portion of these vehicles was purchased for public services using government money. Recently, data revealed that Chinese citizens are starting to embrace electric vehicles and that ownership has steadily risen.

The Chinese government has started to lessen its regulations when it comes to the electric vehicle industry. As a result, passenger cars in electric vehicle sales are starting to pile up. The Chinese Passenger Car Association recently released data showing that sales of passenger electric cars in China have reached around 250,000. That is more than double the number of sold electric vehicles during the same period last year. The CPCA data also showed that more than 92 percent of all electric car purchases made during the first quarter of 2019 were passenger cars.

That is a huge boost when compared to the industry's performance back in 2015. During that time, only around 50 percent of all electric vehicle sales were passenger cars. In 2018, that number jumped to 80 percent. These were according to data from the CPCA and the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, both of which are government institutions. These figures include all battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars, a model which China calls new energy vehicles.

In a statement, CPCA Secretary Cui Dong Shu said, "The country's encouraging the development of passenger car sales...while the bus and coach market doesn't have any more potential. Subsidies have helped bus sales reach a peak and we don't need more public buses."

Mr. Cui said that around 70 to 80 percent of all public buses in China are electric vehicles or hybrid variants.

While the future for electric vehicles in China is quite bright, electric car manufacturers still have a long way to go. In 2018, around 1.2 million electric passenger cars were purchased in China. That represents only 4 percent of total passenger car sales in the country in the same period.

According to the data from CPCA, this year's electric vehicle purchased is predicted to reach 1.7 million. That represents an increase of 36 percent compared to the industry's performance in 2018. BYD, China's largest electric vehicles manufacturer, sold around 71,000 electric car passengers in the first quarter of 2019.

As China continues to ease subsidies for electric vehicles, car manufacturers are more likely to absorb the cost of these subsidies.

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