Tuesday, 23 February 2021 08:06

China forecast to sell 1.9m electric vehicles in 2021: Canalys

China forecast to sell 1.9m electric vehicles in 2021: Canalys Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

China will sell 1.9 million electric vehicles this year, the technology analyst firm Canalys says, adding that this would represent growth of 51% year-on-year and a 9% share of all cars sold in the country.

For 2020, China sold 1.3 million EVs, meaning growth of 8%, while global sales soared by 39% as reported.

The company said that while Beijing had supported the transition to EVs, changes in related policies and consumer subsidies had led to car manufacturers struggling to build sales momentum.

“The Chinese EV market in 2020 was all about two vehicles: the made-in-China Tesla Model 3, the market leader in the first half of 2020, and the Hongguang Mini EV from the SGMW joint venture (SAIC, General Motors and Wuling), the market leader in the second half of 2020, which only launched mid-year,” said Chris Jones, chief analyst for automotive at Canalys.

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“If it had not been for the huge success of these two very different EVs, the Chinese EV market would have declined in 2020. Between them, the two models represented one in five of all EVs sold in China.”

Canalys said the 1.3 million EVs sold in China made up 41% of global sales, trailing Europe which was just ahead with 42%. But the US is far behind, with only 2.4% of global sales in 2020.

china ev sales 2020

“Prospects are very good for China’s EV market in 2021,” said Jones. “There is already an excellent network of standardised public EV chargers in China, good government support and now a return to strong consumer demand.”

Canalys pointed out that Tesla had already started deliveries of the made-in-China Model Y. Production of the Hongguang Mini EV had been increased to keep up with demand, particularly from young Chinese urban-dwellers.

It said other small, more affordable city cars, such as the Baojun E-Series from SGMW and the Ora R1 from Great Wall Motors were also proving very popular.

The Ora R1, touted as the world’s cheapest EV, is set to soon be sold in India, which had an EV share of less than 0.5% in 2020.

“With a share of just 6.3% of all passenger cars sold in China in 2020, EVs have many years of growth ahead,” said Sandy Fitzpatrick, vice-president at Canalys.

“But with Tesla expanding its portfolio in China, it will be hard for competitors offering premium EVs to gain market share.

"With that in mind, some Chinese car makers are already looking for growth opportunities in other parts of the world, especially Europe."

Canalys defines EVs as including battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles while passenger cars exclude light commercial vehicles.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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