CATARC report - August 2014: New Energy Vehicle trends in China

Passenger EV production in July continues to be strong


Production volumes in China

        This report is based on a report by Beijing CATARC Automotive Technology Development Company*1;
        MarkLines has edited and tranlsated the company's report to prepare this report.
        MarkLines plans on issuing the report on a monthly basis in the future.

Fig. 1 Production volume of energy-efficient vehicles
and new energy vehicles by vehicle type (January to July 2014)

  The production volume of energy-efficient vehicles and new energy vehicles (hybrid vehicle [HV], plug-in hybrid vehicle [PHV], and electric vehicle [EV]) in China exceeded 7,000 units in June 2014; however, it slightly decreased to 6,962 units in July. As for the breakdown, the production volume of PHVs and EVs was 6,147 units with a share of 88.3%, and the production volume of HVs was 815 units with a share of 11.7%. Looking at the production volume by vehicle type, the production volume of passenger cars was 5,871 units, which was an increase by 9.0% month-over-month (m/m) (of which the production volume of PHVs and EVs was 5,056 units, and the production volume of HVs was 815 units) and the production volumes of buses and specialty vehicles, in which only PHV and EV versions are available, were 909 units and 182 units, respectively. Passenger cars account for 84.3%, buses account for 13.1%, and specialty vehicles account for 2.6% of total sales. The production volume of EV passenger cars increased by 7.3-fold year-over-year (y/y) in the same month and by 6.8% m/m; however, the production volume of EV buses decreased by 75.1% m/m. Looking at the production volume for the January to July 2014 period, the share for PHV and EV passenger cars is on an upward trend.

Passenger EV

 The production volume of passenger EVs in July 2014 was 4,035 units with an increase of 6.8% m/m. In June, 12 automakers produced 23 models; however, in July, the number of models that were produced dropped to 15. As a result, it is evident that the automakers are focusing on expanding the production of high-demand models. Kandi's K10 had the highest production volume; its production volume for the January to July 2014 period exceeded 7,000 units.

Passenger PHV

 BYD's Qin had the highest production volume of passenger PHVs; production of other models is falling. In the January to July 2014 period, three passenger PHV models were launched in China and the production volume was on an upward trend; however, it grew at a sluggish pace from June (refer to Fig. 2). Since its launch at the end of 2012, the Qin has been the leader in the passenger PHV market and is in a state where there is no competing model.

Passenger HV

 The passenger HV market is in a state where its production remains flat compared to the previous month. By automaker, the production of Japanese automakers accounts for the majority and there is hardly any production from Chinese automakers. As background, HVs were not subject to the "EV promotion strategy" by the Chinese government as PHVs were; it is thought that this was the factor for the sluggish growth of production.

EV bus

 The production volume of the EV bus in July 2014 was 250 units. It significantly decreased by 75.1% m/m. The EV bus market is small. It is in a state where it is largely relying on the government for subsidy. The Chinese government is trying to expand the production of EV buses through subsidy; however, as of July 2014, only 21 models have been produced and it is in a state where the production scale is still small. Major Chinese bus makers, Yutong, Zhongtong, and Hengtong, are not producing EV buses. This is considered one of the factors for the small production scale.

PHV bus

 The production volume of the PHV bus in July was 659 units, which was a slight increase over the previous month. The PHV buses featuring gasoline engines account for 61% of the total volume. Compared to the production cost of EV buses, that of batteries for PHV buses is low and investment in charging facilities is less; therefore, major bus makers, such as Yutong, Jintong, Hengtong, and Zhongtong, produces these buses. The types of batteries that are mostly used in PHV buses are iron phosphate lithium-ion batteries combined with a large-capacity capacitor, followed by manganese lithium-ion batteries and titanate lithium-ion batteries.

Import of HV

 Ten automakers imported twenty hybrid models in July. The number of HVs that were imported in July was 2,399 units. Two automakers, Tesla Motors and BMW, import passenger EVs. Tesla Motors imported 1,849 units of its Model S in July, which is a record high.


Fig. 2 Production volume of passenger PHVs and BYD's Qin (January to July 2014)

Fig. 3 Production volume of HV, PHV, and EV buses (January to July 2014)