Electric-vehicle sales in the world’s largest auto market hit a new high last month even as global car and battery makers voiced fears of a possible slowdown in demand.
EV sales in China, the world’s largest auto market, increased 29% year-to-date in October, market research firm Rho Motion said in a report. The global EV market showed 34% growth in the same period.
“What’s notable about October’s figures is that EV demand in China continues to reach record highs even though the subsidies were cut … 2023 is set to be another banner year for China in terms of EV sales,” the market research firm said.
China ended an 11-year subsidy scheme for EV purchases in 2022, but some local authorities have continued to offer aid or tax rebates to attract investments as well as subsidies for consumers.
The country also seems poised to the end the year on a high. The final two months of the year are seasonally high for vehicle sales in China, Rho Motion said.
EV sales grew 26% in European markets, where cutting of subsidies has weighed on demand, as seen in Germany where business subsidies were done away with in September, according to Rho Motion.
“This (subsidies) is an important factor in the German market as nearly two-thirds of passenger car registrations are commercial,” the market research firm said.
Tesla, Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen have warned high interest rates and a subdued market in the region are putting customers off. Top Asian battery-makers including South Korea’s LG and China’s CATL have voiced similar concerns.
Meanwhile, in North America, EV sales were up 78% so far this year.
“The North American market continues to have a strong 2023, with Tesla still taking the lion’s share of demand as legacy automakers temper ambitions of scaling production,” Rho Motion said.
Still, Tesla’s market share slipped to the lowest on record at about 50% during the third quarter despite price cuts, according to a report by dealer services firm Cox Automotive in October.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena