The sales of electric vehicles in China saw a summer bonanza in June when as many as 16 manufacturers, 11 more than a year ago, saw their monthly deliveries surge past the 10,000 mark.
June’s EV sales surged 130% over a year ago to 532,000, marking a monthly new high, as the electrification of the world’s largest auto market continues apace.
EV sales for the first half of the year totalled 2.24 million, according to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) data.
Market leader BYD sold 132,553 electric and hybrid vehicles last month, up a whopping 228% year-on-year, making it the world’s largest EV maker. BYD also had a glowing half-year report card as total sales more than quadrupled to 633,777.
But foreign players have made formidable inroads in the Chinese market too.
Tesla, with its Shanghai plant up and running again after a series of Covid shutdowns, edged past budget EV maker Wuling to the runner-up position in June.
The American giant delivered an all-time high of 77,938 made-in-China Model 3s and Ys, compared with May’s all-time low of 9,825 when its production sputtered. The Model Y dominated the list of China’s bestselling e-SUVs in June. Tesla’s half-year total was 197,575, up 50% yoy.
Volkswagen sold 22,215 EVs last month, up 150% yoy, the combined EV sales of VW’s two joint ventures with SAIC in Shanghai and FAW in Changchun. VW’s half-year total was 79,052, up 87% yoy.
By contrast, the shares of XPeng, Li Auto, Nio, and other new-age EV makers in June, shrank by 1.7 percentage points to 16.7%.
China Startups Facing Bottlenecks
“Despite their still robust growth, mainstream EV startups like Li Auto and Nio continue to face production bottlenecks as they reel from supply chain shocks,” said Shen Dai, an auto analyst with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.
“And now, they will have to fend off the growing threat from VW as the latter has better supply chain management and bigger sales networks.”
In the meantime, the transition from internal combustion engines to batteries is also paying off for established Chinese makers like Geely, Chery, and GAIC.
Their half-year EV sales all surpassed 100,000 while sales of petrol and diesel models also remained stable. Collectively, they have also given the big three startups – XPeng, Li Auto and Nio – a good run for their money.
“EV sales followed a W-shaped trajectory in the first six months, with the two monthly dips being in February, due to the normally weak Lunar New Year seasonality and between April and May, when Covid and lockdowns brought business to a halt,” said Cui Dongshu, chief of research at the CPCA.
“But we had a roaring recovery in June, when total sales were 47.6% higher than May, with an overall EV penetration rate of 27.4%. We have higher hopes for July.”
- By Frank Chen