China strengthens lead in electromobility

January 24, 2017 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
When it comes to e-cars, China is the undisputed world leader. And it seems evident that the Middle Kingdom will keep the pole position for the foreseeable future and beyond. A study from the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) explains why China is so much stronger than Europe’s and North America’s carmakers.

In 2016, 507.000 “New Energy Vehicles” (NEVs) have been sold in China. New Energy Vehicle is the term used in this country for electric and hybrid vehicles and includes passenger cars as well as commercial vehicles. This figure comprises 336.000 passenger cars and 171.000 trucks, lorries and vans, but not the 115.000 electrically-driven buses which come on top. In contrast to the western markets where hybrid cars account for the majority of the electric vehicles; in China 81 % of the e-cars sold are battery electric vehicles. The bestsellers among China’s e-cars are made by local companies; manufacturer BYD alone accounts for the top three models. The only foreign vendor in China’s electric top 20 is Tesla.

 

One of the reasons why China will stay in the pole position of the global electromobility market is the quota system for electric vehicles planned by the government; this regulation will rule that all manufacturers will have to sell 8% of their output as electric vehicles in 2018; in 2020 this quota will rise to 12%.

 

In 2016, sales of electric vehicles climbed by 53%.  In the United States, the second most important market for e-cars, unit sales rose by 38% to about 157.000 vehicles. 84.000 of them were battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the remainder were PHEVs. Market leader in the US is Tesla who had a share of more than 50%, followed by the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. PHEV sales rose much stronger (+69%) than overall electric vehicles.