Plug-in sales in China are going wild – annual sales for 2016 are expected to exceed 350,000. The country now has the largest plug-in fleet in the world: over 650,000 vehicles, surpassing Europe (630,000) and the US (560,000).
Upcoming changes to government incentive programs contributed to a sales surge for small EVs in November.
The #1 seller for the month was the Zotye Cloud EV, a 5-door hatchback with an 18 kWh battery and 150 km of range. Second place went to the Emgrand EV from Geely, one of China’s largest automakers, and the owner of Volvo and London black cab maker LTI. The electric sedan sports a 45 kWh battery and a 253 km range.
Domestic automakers dominate the market with 95% of sales. The leader is BYD, which has a 31% market share, though its dominance may be fading (none of its models made November’s top 5). Other top selling plug-ins come from BAIC, Chery and Zhidou.
Unlike other world markets, in China EVs are handily beating PHEVs – pure electrics account for 75% of the market, up 3% in November.
The only foreign automaker selling any significant number of plug-ins is Tesla, which is outselling all other foreign brands in China with a 3% market share (937 Model S were sold in November).
Upcoming rule changes that may allow foreign EV-makers to produce vehicles in China without a local partner could soon make Tesla’s lead unassailable.