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China's NEV sales hit record in January

By Li Fusheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-02-09 15:26

BYD's electric models attract visitors at a new energy auto expo in Beijing. [Photo by A QING / FOR CHINA DAILY]

Sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids in China hit a record number of 179,000 units in January, up 238.5 percent from the same month last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Electric cars accounted for the majority, with 151,000 sold in the month, soaring 287.8 percent year-on-year.

The association said on Tuesday the lower comparative base in the same month of 2020 and the recovery in the overall market helped the soaring growth rate.

It said the record had been renewed monthly for seven months in a row, since the new energy vehicle segment started to recover in the second half of 2020 when the COVID-19 was put under control.

Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight, said the significant rise is partially the result of a renewed interest in new energy vehicles, and there still remains huge development potential ahead.

China's electric car starups benefitted from the trend. Nio delivered 7,225 cars in January, up by 352 percent on a yearly basis. Xpeng delivered 6,015 cars last month, growing 470 percent year-on-year. Li Auto sold 5,379 vehicles, up 356 percent year-on-year.

Established carmakers including Volkswagen are expected to launch their NEV campaigns in China this year.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expects sales of such vehicles to hit 1.8 million this year, up from 1.37 million in 2020.

Electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles are estimated to account for one fifth of new vehicle sales in China in 2025, from around 5 percent now.

Overall vehicles in January rose as well. A total of 2.5 million vehicles were sold, up 29.5 percent year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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