EV sales show a slow February in China

Around 97,000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids were sold in China in February, according to figures from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), 675 per cent more than in the same month last year but 37.9 per cent fewer than in January 2021. However, some manufacturers were also up in February.

The decline in February can be explained by the multi-day celebrations surrounding Chinese New Year – there are simply fewer sales days compared to January. For an exact classification of the market development, we will have to compare sales figures from March.

However, although January 2021 was already up on the same month of the previous year, sales were lower than in December 2020. Thus, the trend of the past months continues in February: Year-on-year, it looks positive, but in relation to the previous month, sales are down.

Moving on to manufacturers, the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture, maker of the Hongguang Mini EV, a very popular electric small car in China, sold 20,819 electrified cars in February. It is followed by Tesla, but here, as is well known, only with fully electric cars: the American company sold 18,318 electric cars produced in China in February, 470 per cent more than in the same month last year and 15.5 per cent more than in January 2021, of which 13,688 were Model 3s and the rest Model Ys. Tesla produced 23,632 electric cars at its Shanghai plant this February.

In addition, BYD was still the third manufacturer to reach five-digit sales with 10,245 NEVs. Here, too, the negative trend can be seen in a monthly comparison: in January, there were still 20,178 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

Electric car manufacturers Nio and Xpeng already reported their sales figures for February earlier: Nio delivered 5,578 electric cars in February, Xpeng 2,223. However, not only the manufacturers but also the CPCA association were satisfied with the figures from Nio and Xpeng in each case – for the startups, growth is currently almost more important than absolute sales figures.

In the case of Tesla, in addition to the production and sales figures, there is also the expansion of its own charging network in China. Tesla recently announced that it already operates over 6,000 charging points at more than 760 Supercharger locations in mainland China. Accordingly, the charging parks are spread across more than 300 cities. At the beginning of February, Tesla also announced that it had started production of chargers at its own plant in Shanghai – with an annual capacity of 10,000 charging points.

gasgoo.com (sales), gasgoo.com (locations of Tesla Superchargers)


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