Caixin
Feb 19, 2019 06:27 PM
DAILY CHART

Chart of the Day: China’s New-Energy Vehicle Sales Spike

Sales of new-energy vehicles in China skyrocketed 148.8% year-on-year in January to 95,700, marking the 24th straight month of growth for the more environmentally friendly type of automobile.

In comparison, total auto sales in China fell 15.8% year-on-year last month to 2.37 million amid a trade war with the U.S., according to an official summary Caixin acquired from industry observer the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

New-energy vehicles include entirely battery-powered and plug-in hybrid electric cars, according to CAAM. The growth figure of 148.8% is based on Caixin calculations based on the monthly sales figures released by the association. CAAM reported that new-energy vehicle sales rose 138% in January.

Sales of new-energy vehicles saw their fastest growth in January 2018, when they surged 577% to 38,470 units, mainly due to the low baseline of 5,682 in 2017.

The surge in sales came as a change in government policy took effect in January. Under the new policy, automakers that produce at least 30,000 vehicles are required to ensure that new-energy vehicles make up an estimated 4% to 5% of all the cars they produce.

The sales spike might also be due to drivers’ desire to cash in on government subsidies for the vehicles while they still can. The government is gradually phasing out the subsidies, which are set to expire next year. Sources close to policymakers recently told Caixin that the subsidies will be slashed by 20% this year.

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Reporter Mo Yelin contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com)

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