China’s EV market hits its stride with 1-in-3 sales being electrified

GM's Wuling HongGuang Mini EV. (Credit: SAIC-GM-Wuling)

Chinese electric vehicle sales have hit 31 percent of the overall market, with 25 percent being pure EVs, a substantial growth year-over-year.

According to a report by CleanTechnica, sales of electrified vehicles in May hit 31 percent of the overall market with 25 percent being fully electric vehicles. In raw numbers, over 403,000 new electrified vehicles hit the Chinese market in May, growing 109 percent compared to the same month in 2021.

Unfortunately, all-electric vehicles are not the fastest-growing subcategory of electric vehicles, as PHEVs seem to be growing at the fastest rate: 187 percent compared to the same time last year. Meanwhile, fully-electric car sales grew by 91 percent. With these sales numbers, pure EVs now account for 20 percent of new car sales in China in 2022, and electrified vehicles overall account for 25 percent. The report points out that this could mean that the majority of Chinese vehicle sales could be electric by 2025.

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The growth of EV sales in China is unlike sales trends in the rest of the world, adoption is happening significantly faster. It seems as though the appetite for electric vehicles in China has been uninhibited despite many roadblocks, which include COVID lockdown measures in the country, supply chain shortages, and even a Chinese government-imposed license plate lottery system that limits how many license plates are issued every year.

In even more defiance to trends seen here in the U.S., the vast majority of the EVs that were sold were affordable. The top spot, as expected by anyone who has watched the Chinese market, was the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV, a cheap and practical EV made by none other than a joint venture with General Motors (the company that sold 26 EVs in the US Q4 2021), SAIC Motors, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors.

Even with information on Chinese cars being inaccurate at times, looking at each of the top 10 most sold vehicles, only 3 had a base price over 30,000 USD, with the majority being sold in the low 20,000 dollar range or even as low as 4,000 (the Wuling Mini EV). This should give hope to many consumers outside of China that it may be possible for low-cost EVs to expand to outside of China.

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China’s EV market hits its stride with 1-in-3 sales being electrified
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