Asia and Middle East EV Sales Up 177% in Jan-Aug 2021

Article By : Dr. Y.-C. Hsu, Researcher and Research LLC

EV sales in Asia and the Middle East rose by 177% year-on-year for January to August 2021, according to Researcher and Research LLC.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in Asia and the Middle East reached 1,802,723 units for January to August 2021, up by 177% year-on-year, according to the Worldwide Monthly BEV & PHEV Tracker from Researcher and Research LLC.

In terms of EV sales country, China ranked first in Asia and globally with 1,657,728 units sold in January-August period. The most obvious aspect of China’s automobile industry is the strategy of automobile power, which has never changed. The Chinese market is dominated by battery electric vehicle (BEV), which accounted for 82%, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) accounted for the rest 18%. The market preferred mini car, with a sales share of 27%, mainly to meet the needs of users in the third-, fourth-and fifth-tier cities and county-level rural areas; followed by mid car with 17% and mid SUV with 10%, which were currently the first choice of customers in the first-tier, new first-tier and second-tier cities. Basically, models were not highly concentrated. Wuling HongGuang Mini, Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y were the top three models, with a combined market share of only 25%.

Table 1 Asia and Middle East EV Sales, January-August 2021

South Korea was the second largest sales country, with total sales of 69,020 units and an annual growth rate of 113%. With the strong support of the South Korean government policies, it not only quickly overtook Japan in Asia, but also became the seventh largest EV sales country in the world in August. Like China, the South Korean market is dominated by BEV, accounting for 82%. However, South Korea has a unique market segment, with mid SUV accounting for 35% of the market, followed by light commercial vehicle (LCV) for 27% and mid car for 12%, which together dominated the development of South Korea EV market with 74% share. Hyundai Ioniq-5, Hyundai Porter and Tesla Model 3 were the top three models, with a total market share of 45%.

Japan was the third largest sales country, with 26,728 units sold from January to August, and a YoY growth of 52%. Nissan Leaf was first sold in the Japanese car market as early as 10 years ago, and is still a popular BEV model in the global market, showing that the Japanese automakers already have enough technology to convert petrol car into EV, and EV is well received in the Japanese market. However, while the Chinese and South Korean governments are actively developing the EV market, the Japanese government and its auto industry have until now been reluctant to give up on making hybrid cars. As a result, the development of the Japanese EV market has been relatively slow in recent years.

PHEV was currently 54% of the market ahead of BEV at 46%. Consumers preferred compact segment, with 37% and 31% of the market in the compact car and compact SUV, respectively. The top three models were all Japanese brands, namely Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Toyota Prius Gen-2, with a combined market share of 53%.

The fourth largest country was Australia, with a market size of 13,415 units and a YoY growth rate of 258%. This year, the Australian EV market has seen an unprecedented situation where a few state governments have started to propose some subsidy policies instead of punitive taxes. Despite the lack of charging infrastructure, the proportion of BEV in Australia was still as high as 85% and PHEV was only 15%. There were not many EV models in Australia, and the market segment was concentrated in mid car, up to 64%; Tesla Model 3 was the bestselling model with 63% of the market, followed by SAIC MG ZS EV with 9%.

Israel was the fifth largest and the number one sales country in the Middle East, with a market size of 10,083 units from January to August and an annual growth rate of 154%. In the past, Israel was well-known in the fields of vehicle cybersecurity, driver assistance systems, and EV fast charging technology. In recent years, Israel has gradually increased EV infrastructure and launched purchase incentives. The proportion of BEV and PHEV in Israel was about 55% and 45%. Mid car was the largest segment with 39% share, followed by compact SUV with 29%, and mid SUV with 19%, and these three segments accounted for 87% of the EV market in Israel. Tesla Model 3, Kia Niro, and SAIC MG EHS were the top three models with a combined market share of 55%.

The sixth largest was India, which had an annual growth rate of 327%, with 8,755 units sold. The Indian government has recently announced a number of policies to support localized production of EV and related components (especially batteries), including: (1)FAME Schemes,(2)Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell, and (3)PLI Scheme for automobile and auto component industry. The aggressiveness of the policy is comparable to the level of support for EV in China and South Korea, but it reveals more about the Indian government’s eagerness to make EV industry take root as soon as possible, rather than just expand the market. Currently, India had only 11 EV models, the fewest among the top 10 sales countries. Although the infrastructure is incomplete, the proportion of BEV was nearly 100%. In terms of segment, the market preferred SUV, accounting for 97% of the market, with small SUV accounting for 78%, followed by compact SUV with19%. In terms of model, Tata Nexon had the largest market share with 78%, followed by SAIC MG ZS EV with 19%.

Taiwan was the seventh largest sales country, with 4,588 units sold from January to August, and a YoY growth of only 33%. Compared with other countries, the Taiwan government does not actively support the development of the EV market in terms of policies, but instead focuses on subsidies for electric motorcycle. In addition, Taiwan is still inclined to protect the local auto industry, and the related tax burden on consumers remains high; therefore, Taiwan’s EV market can be said to be developed by the voluntary purchase from people in Taiwan. Currently, up to 93% of EVs in Taiwan were BEV, 75% were mid car, and 11% were extra large car, with Tesla Model 3 and Porsche Taycan as the main models, accounting for 74% and 11% of the market, respectively.

The eighth largest was New Zealand, with 3,517 units sold, and an annual growth rate of 163%. New Zealand has proposed EV related policies for a long time, and the EV sales are very stable. It was only in July this year, the new subsidy program helped the sales increase from an average of 380 units per month to nearly 1,200 units, but returned to the original sales level in August. The proportion of BEV and PHEV in New Zealand was 71% and 29%, respectively. The market preferred mid car and compact SUV, accounting for 30% and 26%, respectively. The top three models included Tesla Model 3, SAIC MG ZS EV, and Hyundai Kona, with a combined share of 51%.

A three-year EU-funded research project has been launched to develop lightweight components for electric vehicles (EVs) using eco-design and circular approaches.Finally, Thailand in ninth place and Turkey in tenth place had similar sales from January to August, with 1,733 units and 1,650 units, respectively. Thailand’s annual growth rate was the lowest among the top ten, at only 22%, while Turkey’s was as high as 282%. The Thai EV market was dominated by BEV, with a 73% share. It mainly included four segments, namely compact SUV, compact car, mid SUV, and small SUV, accounting for 26%, 18%, 14% and 13%, respectively. The main models were SAIC MG ZS EV, SAIC MG 5 and Hyundai Kona, with a combined share of 54%.

Turkey was also dominated by BEV, with a 75% share. Turkish consumers preferred SUV segment, accounting for 65%, and the market share of mid SUV and compact SUV was 32% and 22%, respectively. Porsche Taycan, Renault Zoe, BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC SUV were the main models in the EV market, with a combined share of 58%.

Among these ten EV sales countries, China’s EV market is far ahead of other countries in terms of market size due to years of continuous policy support. In terms of development potential, India currently has the highest annual growth rate, coupled with the recent introduction of related policies, which will help localization of the Indian EV industry and development of market scale. In addition, BEV dominated the market in all countries except Japan, where PHEV was the dominant type. In terms of major segments, each country has its own characteristics: for example (1) mini car was most popular in China, (2) the high proportion of LCV segment can be said to be a characteristic of the South Korean EV market, (3) Japan preferred compact segment, (4) Australia, Israel, Taiwan and New Zealand increased the market share of mid car segment due to the good sales of Tesla Model 3, and (5) consumers in India, Thailand and Turkey preferred SUV segment. In addition, except for the Chinese market, the sales shares of major models in other countries exceeded more than half of their overall market, indicating that the market concentration in these countries remains high.


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