Electric Cars in China

Chinese electric car BYD

Overview of the most important electric cars that are currently for sale in China (2019).

PhotoCarPrice1Range2
[km]
BAIC EC-Series150.000¥200
BAIC EU-Series215.000¥400
BAIC EX-Series250.000¥415
BYD e5220.000¥300
BYD Qin Pro EV170.000¥520
BYD Yuan EV110.000¥300
Chana Eulove EV158.000¥315
Changan Eado EV325.000¥160
Chery Arrizo 5e192.000¥400
Chery eQ1130.000¥200
Dongfeng Skio ER30150.000¥255
Geely Emgrand EV218.000¥400
Geely Emgrand GSe EV210.000¥353
Great Wall Ora iQ5 EV189.000¥400
Great Wall Ora R1 EV115.000¥310
JAC iEV7S207.000¥280
JMC E20094.000¥152
Nio ES6358.000¥510
Nio ES8448.000¥355
SAIC Baojun E10094.000¥250
SAIC Roewe Ei5214.000¥420
Tesla Model 3328.000¥560
Weltmeister EX5290.000¥460
Xpeng G3228.000¥365

1 Price of the cheapest version, before subsidies, in Chinese Yuan (RMB).
2 Range of the version with the largest battery pack. As rated by the manufacturer. 

Electric car sales in China

China is undoubtedly the most important electric mobility market in the world. Not only are the Chinese streets flooded with e-bikes and light electric vehicles, since 2009 the Communist Party is also pushing local and foreign manufacturers to develop, produce and sell increasing numbers of electric cars. One of the major incentives are “New Energy Vehicle” subsidies that automotive companies receive per sold electric car.

The results of China’s e-mobility policy are showing. In 2018, the People’s Republic registered about 1 million new electric cars. That’s more than in the American or European market, which registered about 500.000 new electric cars together.

Besides public policy, China’s lead in electric car sales can also be explained by the sheer size of its automotive market. China registers almost 30 million new cars per year, while the US and Europe have an automotive market that’s about half that size.

Manufacturers

Many foreign car manufacturers want to enter the lucrative Chinese market, but the Communist Party doesn’t make it easy. Almost all foreign companies are forced into partnerships with local, often state-owned, enterprises. Moreover, production needs to happen in-country which is enforced with high import duties. This policy assures a much needed knowledge transfer and improves local employment numbers.

Until now, Tesla is almost the only foreign car manufacturer that managed to escape a local partnership. They are however building a major factory in Shanghai which will produce Model 3’s and other Tesla models locally.

Future

Lately, the growth rate of the Chinese economy is decreasing, which already affected new car sales in a negative way.

Furthermore, China announced that it will decrease electric car subsidies in June 2019 and that the EV market will have to mature with less financial support from the government.

We can expect that the current economic downturn will be temporary, and that the Chinese electric car market (and the car market as a whole) will continue to flourish in the medium to long term.