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NEV mid-year summary: strong growth

Half year into 2016, new energy vehicle (NEV) sales first saw a decline in the first two months but bounced back powerfully afterwards.

According to data published by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), NEV sales reached 170,000 units in the first half, a 126.9 percent growth from the same time last year. In the meanwhile, with government incentives expiring soon, the NEV market is evolving from policy driven to demand driven.

Data from Chin Passenger Car Association (CPCA) shows a total of 120,000 new energy passenger vehicles sold in January-June, a 135 percent growth from last year. Among them, 80,000 units are EVs, or a 166 percent increase from last year. The rest 40,000 units are plug-in hybrids, a 91 percent growth.


As is shown in Chart 1, sales were down in the first two months in 2016 due to policy uncertainty and the Spring Festival holidays. With continued government subsidies for NEVs throughout the country, sales have bounced back since March.

CAAM predicted that annual NEV sales in 2016 will be around 700,000 units. But six months into the year, total sales were only 24.29 percent of the prediction. Based on previous years’ data, however, NEV sales tend to grow month by month throughout the year and peak around December. CAAM deputy secretary Yao Jie claims that with all things considered, CAAM stands firm on its original estimate.

The winner of the first six months in sales is Beijing EV (BJEV) again. With 15,052 in NEV sales, BJEV sees a 142 percent growth from last year claiming 25 percent market share. The addition of new production capacity must have played an important role.

Geely is right behind BJEV. Its June sales took the crown in pure EVs. But with its micro EV car brand ZD being separated from Geely, the future is unclear.

In the plug-in hybrid segment, BYD and SAIC jointly took up 90 percent of the total market share. The Roewe e550 maintained 2,000 plus monthly sales since March. With 68 percent of the market share, the BYD Qin and Tang are still among the most popular plug-in hybrids.

Sales data shows a total of 120,000 new energy passenger vehicles out of showroom in the first six months, a 135 percent growth from last year. Out of the total volume, 66.87 percent, or 80,504 units, are pure EVs, a 166 percent increase from 2015. The plug-in hybrid sales grew by 91 percent to 39,878 units. Clearly, pure EVs are dominating the NEV market.

The government incentives will expire by the end of the year. To prepare for a demand driven market, NEV makers have set their eyes on the new energy SUV segment, hoping to generate more sales in the new segment.

In terms of vehicle type, passenger cars dominate the pure EV segment, but SUVs are quickly gaining ground on plug-in hybrids. Data also indicates that consumers prefer compact A00- and A0-class EVs, but the A-class vehicles, which has been a popular choice in the plug-in hybrid segment, is also growing very fast in the pure EV segment.

To summarize, NEV sales saw a healthy growth in the first half of the year. With better marketing and improved quality, there is still much room for further growth in the second half of the years.

(Translated by Kevin Wang based on article published on

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