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China Lunar New Year Holiday Caps Global EV Sales

China, which is the dominant market for electric vehicles, saw sales drop 12% in February, amid a wider cooling worldwide in recent months

This image shows Leapmotor's EV production line in Jinhua, China. Photo: Reuters
This image shows Leapmotor's EV production line in Jinhua, China. Photo: Reuters


The Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations have been blamed for low-key sales globally for electric cars in February.

Purchases of fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) rose at a tepid rate of 3% last month, versus the same period last year, market research firm Rho Motion said on Wednesday.

The company said global sales hit 800,000 units. Sales in Europe grew 12% versus February of last year and rose 31% in the US and Canada but they fell 12% in China.


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“The reason for the lower growth is because China is still the dominant market” for electric cars, Charles Lester, data manager at Rho Motion, said.

Sales demand for electric cars has cooled in recent months after rising dramatically for several years, as consumers wait for more affordable models to hit the market.

Lester said sales in China are up 34% so far this year, which he said provides a better indication of the performance of the market given that China’s Lunar New Year last year fell in January.

Rho Motion expects global electric car sales to rise between 25% and 30% this year, Lester said.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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