Electric vehicle market in China - statistics & facts

Like many countries in the world, China views electric vehicles (EVs) as a pathway for sustainable transportation because of their low emissions and high energy efficiency. The Chinese government has invested substantially in EV research and development, earning the highest Roland Berger's e-mobility index score in 2021. Notably, China has by far the biggest EV industry in the world. As the largest EV manufacturer, China’s EV production amounted to 3.5 million units in 2021, an increase of 1.6 times year-over-year. Revenues from the EV market reached approximately 102.2 billion U.S. dollars for the year, the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Widely promoting battery electric vehicles (BEVs)

In China, sometimes the word "electric vehicles" is used interchangeably with "new energy vehicles" or "alternative energy vehicles", with the only exception being the exclusion of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have been more popular than plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), with their respective sales volumes of 2.9 million and 600,000 units in the year 2021. During the year, BEV’s market share in China soared to 10.9 percent, and such a figure is expected to further increase in the coming years. The reason for the widespread promotion of BEVs in China is that driving BEVs allows independence from oil consumption, emits zero CO2, and produces very little noise. In addition, China's expanding EV charging infrastructure adds to the allure of BEVs. By 2021, the number of public and private EV charging piles in China reached nearly 1.2 million and 1.5 million, respectively.

Yet, BEVs have a relatively short driving range compared to PHEVs due to the limited energy storage capacity of the batteries. But this does not largely constrain Chinese consumers from buying them. During an online customer survey conducted in October 2021, Chinese consumers considered purchasing a BEV with a driving range of 258 miles, while participants from the United States expected at least 518 miles.

Which one is the best seller?

With the growing global rollout of EVs, Chinese EV manufacturers are becoming well-known. As China’s top EV producer, BYD realized a global EV market share of 8.8 percent in 2021, behind only Tesla and Volkswagen Group. In the ranking of the world’s best-selling EVs that year, six Chinese models were among the top 10. For passenger BEVs, the joint venture SAIC-GM-Wuling is the front-runner in China, with sales of over 424,350 units in 2021, surpassing Tesla and BYD. Its Hongguang Mini EV model was ranked as the second best-selling model in the world, right behind the Tesla Model 3.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Electric vehicle market in China".

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