Sales of electric cars are picking up rapidly around the world, but in China they have exploded: this year the country is predicted to sell 6 million electrified vehicles.
That prediction comes from the China Passenger Car Association which recently increased its estimate from 5.5 million units off the back of an unusually busy July. Electrified vehicle sales doubled to 486,000 in July, giving those cars a massive 27 percent of the new vehicle market.
You might notice that we’re referring to “electrified” rather than “electric” vehicles, and that’s because the data refers to what’s known in China as “new-energy vehicles” or NEVs. This group of vehicles includes battery-powered cars, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell machines. But its the huge expansion of the BEV market that’s driving the figures towards the 6m mark.
To put that 6 million figure in context, China only bought 2.99 million NEVs in 2021, a year in which the U.S. purchased just 608,000 BEV and hybrid cars, though that figure itself represented a 100 percent increase on the previous year’s numbers. And Bloomberg reports that the China Passenger Car Association’s prediction is “relatively cautious” and could be increased further at the start of the fourth quarter of 2022.
The prediction is impressive considering the auto industry has been battling with prediction delays due to a shortage of semiconductors and COVID-19 restrictions. Unlike other countries, China is still determined to stamp out coronavirus outbreaks and the resulting lockdowns have caused headaches for automakers including Tesla.
But Bloomberg reports that both central and local governments implemented measures to help the industry bounce back, one of which was to half the purchase tax on low-emissions cars.