According to the China Passenger Car Association, around 169,000 New Energy Vehicles (BEVs, PHEVs and FCEVs) were sold in China in November, 136.5 per cent more than in the same month last year. Most electric vehicles sold last month were SAIC GM Wuling (SGMW), BYD and Tesla.
The three automakers account for nearly half of the country’s NEV sales: SAIC GM Wuling reported 36,070 electric vehicles sold in November, BYD 26,015 units and Tesla 21,604 electric cars. According to media reports, BYD represents a 138 per cent improvement over the same month last year. Almost all NEV sales were all-electric vehicles (25,553 of the aforementioned 26,015 units).
By far the most best-selling electric car in China in November was the Hong Guang Mini EV electric compact car from General Motors’ Chinese joint venture with SAIC and Wuling. 33,094 units of the Mini BEV were sold in November; 13,000 more than in October.
This is now the third month in a row that the small electric car is a best-seller, far outstripping Tesla Model 3 sales, and does not look to change any time soon. Two radical differences between these two models: size and price. The small electric car is just 2.92 metres long and not even 1.50 metres wide and prices for the Hong Guang Mini EV start at 28,800 yuan which is around $4,400 or 3,641 euros. The rapid increase in sales of the small car is also extraordinary. In June this year, when the small electric car first hit the market, just over 1,000 models were sold, each month sales jumped radically upwards. In total, in just six months along more than 85,000 Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV have been sold.
In the clear second place, the somewhat larger and considerably more expensive Tesla Model 3 sold more units than the next most popular models BYD Han EV, Li ONE, Xpeng P7 and Nio ES6 combined. These came to sales figures of 7,482 (Han EV), 4,646 (Li One), 2,732 (Xpeng P7) and 2,386 (Nio ES6) units.
Tesla set a new delivery record in China in November, with the China Passenger Car Association explicitly listing only domestic sales of Tesla’s Model 3, which is manufactured in China. The 21,604 Model 3s sold far exceeded the October figure (12,143). In the first eleven months of the year, Tesla now has cumulative sales of over 110,000 units, which, it should be noted, is still not the same kind of exponential growth seen by Hong Guang Mini EV sales. General Motors is probably feeling pretty good about venturing into small car sales round about now.
Precise sales figures for November are now also available from Nio and Xpeng Motors: Nio delivered 5,291 electric cars in November, an increase of 109 per cent over the same month last year. In addition to the aforementioned 2,386 ES6 units, the startup also sold 1,387 ES8 and 1,518 EC6. Xpeng Motors sold 4,224 e-cars in November, 342 per cent more than in the same month last year. The Xpeng P7 accounted for almost two-thirds of sales. Added to this were 1,492 sales of the G3.
With additional reporting by Carrie Hampel
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