China's Q2 2022 passenger EV sales almost doubled year-on-year, despite the quarter being a weak one, according to Counterpoint Research.
China’s second quarter (Q2 2022) passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales almost doubled from that a year ago, despite the quarter being a weak one, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Global Electric Passenger Vehicle Model Sales Tracker.
Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for almost 78% of total EV sales, while the remaining were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). BYD remained the market leader, followed by Wuling and Tesla. Emerging brands, such as Xpeng Motor, Neta (Hozon Auto), Leapmotor, Li Auto, NIO and AITO (Seres), proved to be strong competition for the top players.
“China is a mature EV market but it still has immense potential to expand further. Fresh COVID-19 cases from March 2022 onwards and the supply chain crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war have adversely affected the Chinese automotive industry. Had it not been for these factors, the China EV market would have achieved sharper growth. The price hike by most Chinese automakers during March, followed by strict COVID-19 lockdowns during April and May around Shanghai, restricted growth in the domestic automotive industry. Although better results are expected in H2 2022, the economic downturn, energy crisis, supply chain bottlenecks and rising geopolitical tensions may hinder market growth, especially for EVs,” said Senior Analyst Soumen Mandal.
BYD Auto: BYD, which has been the market leader in China since mid-2021, sold more than 353,000 EV units in Q2 2022. The automaker’s BEV segment grew 229% YoY while its PHEV division expanded 312% YoY. The company’s decision to discontinue the production and sales of pure ICE vehicles since March 2022 allowed it to focus on electrified vehicles and become the global EV leader.
Wuling: The SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture has been very successful in China. Wuling’s Hongguang Mini EV has been the flag bearer for the brand since the end of 2020 and has been China’s best-selling EV model for more than the past 18 months. Wuling’s EV sales grew almost 16% YoY during Q2 2022.
Tesla: The pandemic-related lockdowns in Q2 2022 severely hurt Tesla’s business. Production ramp-ups were almost completely halted in April and May during which its sales in China fell 49% YoY to reach the lowest number for the automaker since 2020. The situation improved only after production resumed to full capacity in June 2022. The company ended Q2 2022 on a positive note with 10% YoY growth in sales.
“Direct subsidies to consumers have played a big role in increasing EV adoption across China. Now, as the government plans to phase out direct subsidies to consumers, the country’s dual credit policy for EV production is likely to play an important role. Moreover, many laws that were implemented to save China’s automotive industry from the onslaught of foreign OEMs are being lifted as domestic brands have matured and are now even penetrating other markets, such as Europe and Southeast Asia. Moreover, China’s component industry, especially the battery supply chain, has been strong and is expected to maintain its global dominance,” said Associate Director Brady Wang. “Apart from the increased EV sales and a strong battery supply chain, China also has a good charging network and domestic players are currently focusing on developing proper battery recycling facilities. China is at the forefront in every aspect of the EV ecosystem and has become the leading global figure in the EV space.”
The top 10 EV models in China accounted for more than 44% of the country’s total EV sales in Q2. Wuling’s Hongguang Mini EV remained the undisputed best-selling model for the quarter followed by BYD’s Song and Tesla’s Model Y. However, in June 2022, the Model Y overtook the Hongguang Mini EV to become the top-selling model. China’s EV market is dominated by domestic brands, along with Tesla. Six of the top 10 models were from BYD, among which the BYD Yuan Plus and BYD Dolphin were released after Q2 2021.
“EV sales in China constituted 15% of the total passenger vehicle sales in 2021. According to Counterpoint’s Global Passenger Car Forecast, EV sales are expected to cross the 6-million-unit mark by the end of this year. The market will likely remain subdued due to the ongoing chip crisis, COVID-19 outbreaks, energy crisis, geopolitical tensions and rising consumer inflation. However, we believe one in four cars sold will have an electric powertrain by the end of 2022,” said Research Vice President Neil Shah.
*Sales here refer to wholesale figures, i.e. deliveries out of factories by respective brands/companies.
*Under electric vehicles (EVs), we are considering only battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are not included in this study.
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