China × Cleantech — February 2021
Welcome to China × Cleantech — February 2021 edition. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month.
On the 25th of February, José Pontes reported on the sales numbers of the Chinese EV market for January 2020. He started by stating that the new year sales hangover did not happen and he noted a 223% year-on-year (YoY) increase in the sales numbers, which was the highest growth rate in 3 years.
Overall, plugin vehicle (PEV) sales made up 8.4% market share (7% full electric/BEV) with a record 173,000 units, which is higher than the 2020 market share. José Pontes predicted that we will see a record year in China in 2021, with possibly double-digit EV market share unless something dramatic at the government level shifts the market. The Wuling HongGuang Mini EV was the best selling EV in January, with 36,762 sales, which was its 7th record in a row. It was followed by the Tesla Model 3, which had 13,843 sales.
José reiterated the trend that the top 5 best selling new energy vehicles are quite diverse. The list includes two city EVs, two midsized sedans, and a full size sedan.
On the 4th of February, José Pontes published a report on global EV sales in 2020. The start of 2020 was rough for sales (as everyone knows), but sales picked up in the last 4 months of the year. In December 2020, plugin vehicle registrations climbed 105%. However, PHEV sales rose faster than BEV sales in December, increasing 205%.
The Tesla Model 3 secured the top spot with 65,109 deliveries in December, while second place went to the Wuling Mini EV, with 33,489 registrations, and 3rd was the Volkswagen ID.3, with 28,108 registrations.
The top 5 for 2020 were:
- Tesla Model 3, with 365,240 registrations in 2020, its 3rd consecutive yearly top spot.
- Wuling Mini EV, with 119,255 registrations in 2020, which is holding its own in its first year.
- Renault Zoe, with 100,431 registrations in 2020, which still progressing after its launch in 2012.
- Tesla Model Y, with 79,734 registrations in 2020, which means two Tesla in the top 5 Global EV sales.
- Hyundai Kona EV, with 65,075 registrations in 2020, which is nothing to sniff at.
José then detailed the manufacturer and category leaders. Read the whole article for all the interesting details.
On the 27th of February, Zachary Shahan published his plugin vehicle market share comparison for 2020 with many bar charts and line graphs showing how 7 top countries compared. The article is an interesting look into how China fits into PEV market share progress worldwide. It does still trail Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Germany and the UK in EV market share of the overall market. China was second in PEV market share in 2017. Since then, PEV market share has increased in the country but more countries have surpassed it. Read the full article for all the interactive graphs and bar charts.
In early February, photos of Volkswagen’s ID.6 appeared on the Chinese industry regulatory website, before its slated official unveiling at Shanghai Auto show in April. It was uncovered along with other upcoming new releases and updates by Chinese EV media companies, and then quickly spread around news sites and forums.
Details about the car are limited, but what is known is that it will have an 82 kWh lithium-ion battery and two motor configurations. Plus, it will be built by the SAIC–Volkswagen joint venture in a new factory with an annual production capacity of 300,000.
Also in early February, NIO reported that year-over-year (YoY) sales had increased 352.1% in the month of January 2021. The company sold 7,225 units of its 3 electric car models, the NIO ES8 (1,660), NIO ES6 (2,720), and NIO EC6 (2,845).
Additionally, a new electric sedan was revealed, the NIO ET7, which comes with an advanced suite of autonomous driving tech and new battery swap technology.
Last month it was reported that China International Corporation (CICC), Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory, produced 24,800 electric vehicles in January 2021, which is up 9.9% over December 2020. It was reported that this increase was mainly down to exports of the Tesla Model 3 and the early ramp up of the Tesla Model Y.
More growth and achieving more high goals is expected in 2021.
Rumors swirled last month that the Tesla Model 2 will be coming to China in 2021, this year, which is a very fast move from concept to production cycle if true. The rumor started with a report of an environmental impact assessment. If true, this will be the first car designed by Tesla’s China Design Center and then produced in China. The rumors are saying the target price is 160,000 yuan, just under $25,000, and that the vehicle will have a range of 350 to 450 kilometers (217–280 miles) based on the overly optimistic NEDC testing cycle. If these rumors turn out to be true, it will be another step towards Tesla achieving its goal of accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
On the 12th of February, Johnna Crider reported on the news that the Tesla Model 2 will be sold globally. The news was revealed by the president of Tesla’s operation in China, Tom Zhu, in a media interview. He indicated that, while it was being developed with China in mind and to be produced in China, they intended for the vehicle to be sold more broadly.
While Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai has a production capacity of 450,000, according to Tesla’s earning reports, it could be closer to 550,000, insiders report. They say that Tesla is planning the production of 300,000 Model 3s and 250,000 Model Ys. For more details on this speculation, read the article.
BYD America is providing support to USA transit agencies in getting grants for electric buses and other EV-supportive infrastructure. They have a questionnaire to fill out to apply. This is a great way to boost participation in such programs, and thus sell more electric buses.
On the 15th of February, Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai reported that the Great Wall Motors ORA R1 is now on sale in Ghana. He started by pointing out that Africa has low motorization rates, which means EVs might leapfrog ICE adoption just as mobile phone adoption leapfrogged landline adoption. He also mentioned that the price of city EVs is comparable with imported used ICE cars, and that might lead to widespread adoption.