455,000 New Energy Vehicles (NEV) were sold in China in March 2022. This amounts to 122.4 per cent more than in the same month last year and 43.6 per cent more than in February 2022.
In January, 412,000 NEVs were sold, while in February, only 317,000 vehicles were sold – partly due to the festive season around Chinese New Year. Wholesale sales of NEV passenger cars in March were also significantly higher than in previous years: March 2020 saw only 56,000 units, compared to 202,000 New Energy Vehicles a year ago.
Of the 455,000 New Energy Vehicles, 445,000 were passenger cars and 10,000 were commercial vehicles. Among passenger cars, fuel cell vehicles, which are also NEVs, continue to play only a minor role in China. The ratio of BEVs to PHEVs shifted slightly in favour of battery-electric drives in March: With 360,000 units, 81 per cent of all NEV sales were purely battery-electric, the 85,000 plug-in hybrids correspond to a share of 19 per cent. In the two previous months, the BEV share was still below 80 per cent.
This means that 1.07 million NEV passenger cars have already been sold in China in the current year, which corresponds to an increase of 146.6 per cent compared to 2021.
A look at the manufacturers shows the usual picture: BYD leads the New Energy Vehicles with 104,878 units, while Tesla leads the purely battery-electric cars with 65,814 vehicles. Of these, Tesla exported just 60 units – as usual, Tesla produces mainly for export in the first weeks of a quarter so that the vehicles can be delivered in the same quarter after being transported by ship. However, Tesla’s March production included some production stoppages. In the middle of the month, the plant initially had to be closed for a few days, and since 28 March the assembly lines have been at a complete standstill. The background is the covid outbreak in Shanghai and the lockdown of the metropolis imposed by the authorities.
BYD, on the other hand, was able to sell 53,664 battery-electric cars and consequently 50,674 plug-in hybrids. Earlier this month, BYD also announced that it had stopped producing combustion cars. BYD is now a pure NEV manufacturer – but the plug-in hybrids of course still have a petrol engine.
GAC Aion made a big leap in March. GAC’s BEV brand set a new monthly record with 20,317 units. With an increase of 189 per cent, the company almost tripled its March 2021 result. This allows GAC Aion, which benefits from being part of an established carmaker, to slightly outperform the other startups.
Xpeng can also continue its positive trend and came to 15,141 BEVs in March – narrowly overtaking Great Wall Ora again. The second internationally known startup Nio was able to recover from a weaker February, but remained just under four figures with 9,985 BEV. For Nio, the April results should be interesting: The company has since had to suspend its production in Hefei due to a lack of supplier parts from the regions affected by the Covid lockdown.
Leap Motor (with 10,059 BEVs in five figures for the first time) and Neta Automobile also developed positively. Neta sold 12,026 BEVs in March, its best month this year.
As in the first two months of the year, there are still no separately reported sales figures from VW for its ID. models. For better clarity, we have summarised selected brands – without claiming completeness – in the following table. This is not an official ranking by the CPCA, but a compilation by the editorial team.