CATARC report - October 2015: New Energy Vehicle trends in China

Monthly production exceeds 30,000 units, setting new record


Production volumes in China (Summary)

This report is based on a report by Beijing CATARC Automotive Technology Development Company*;
MarkLines has edited and translated the company's report to prepare this report.

  Production volume of electrified vehicles in September 2015 in China increased by 33% month-over-month (m/m) and doubled year-over-year (y/y) to 34,980 units (657 electric vehicles [EVs] equipped with lead-acid batteries and 30 mild-hybrid passenger cars were included). Monthly production volume exceeded 30,000 units for the first time. Of the electrified vehicles, production volume of EVs increased to over 70% of the total production share. Of the EVs, production volume of special-purpose EVs increased the most; it increased by 18-fold y/y and approximately doubled m/m.

Fig. 1 Production volume of electrified vehicles (Apr. to Sep. 2015)

Production volumes in China

Table 1 Production volume of electrified vehicles by type in Sep. 2014 / Apr. to Sep. 2015

Type Sep.
y/y (%) m/m (%)
Plug-in hybrid passenger cars 2,363 1,523 4,932 6,674 5,700 6,779 5,643 138.8 -16.8
Plug-in hybrid buses 1,861 956 1,512 1,656 1,660 2,142 2,453 31.8 14.5
Electric passenger cars 4,465 5,437 10,992 12,272 8,797 9,661 13,805 209.2 42.9
Electric buses 2,073 1,457 2,369 5,543 6,371 5,365 8,876 328.2 65.4
Special-purpose electric vehicles 163 480 689 1,165 1,373 1,495 2,943 1705.5 96.9
Hybrid passenger cars 559 555 520 584 698 865 1,245 122.7 43.9
Hybrid buses 27 0 18 0 29 0 15 -44.4 -
Fuel cell passenger cars 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Total 11,511 10,418 21,032 27,894 24,628 26,307 34,980 203.9 33.0

Table 2 Production volume of electrified vehicles by type in Sep. 2015

Passenger car
Special-purpose vehicle

Fig. 2 Electrified vehicle production shares by type (Sep. 2015)

Plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV)

  Production volume of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) in September 2015 slightly declined from the previous month to 8,096 units. Of the 8,096 units, production volume of passenger PHVs declined by 16.8% m/m to 5,643 units. Monthly production volume of the BYD Qin had been increasing; however, it declined for the first time in September. Two plants have been producing the Qin; however, their total production in September did not reach 4,000 units. Passenger PHVs of other automakers are also on a declining trend. Production volume of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) was less than 1,500 units. Production volume of the Brilliance BMW 530Le PHV declined by approximately 40% m/m and did not reach 100 units. Main factors that caused the decline in production volume of passenger PHVs are as follows. Because of the sluggish growth of the automobile market in China, the price range of imported mid-size passenger cars fell to that of Chinese passenger PHVs; therefore, it led competition to intensify. Passenger PHVs in some cities were not subject to preferential treatment measures (acquisition of license plates, exemption from traffic regulations, etc.) for new energy vehicles.

  Monthly production volume of plug-in hybrid buses slightly increased from the previous month to over 2,000 units and it has maintained that production level. Of the 17 bus makers that produced plug-in hybrid buses in September, total production volume of the top five bus makers accounted for 76.2% of the total production share of plug-in hybrid buses. Zhengzhou Yutong placed first with a production volume of over 700 units, and it was followed by Zhongtong Bus, Suzhou King Long Bus, Xiamen King Long, and Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus.

Electric vehicle (EV)

  Production volume of EVs in September 2015 was 25,624 units (591passenger EVs and 66 special-purpose EVs, both equipped with lead-acid batteries, were included). Of the 25,624 EVs, 13,805 units were passenger EVs. 19 automakers produced passenger EVs in September. The top five automakers (vehicles equipped with lead-acid batteries were excluded) were Zhejiang Geely, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd. (BAIC), Hunan Jiangnan Automobile, China Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC), and Chery Automobile. Total production volume of the top five automakers accounted for 86% of the production share of passenger EVs.

  Production volume of electric buses increased by 65.4% m/m to 8,876 units. The number of bus makers that produced electric buses increased to 40, which was a record high. As a result, total production share of the top five bus makers (Zhengzhou Yutong, Suzhou King Long Bus, Nanjing King Long Bus, Zhongtong Bus, and Jiangsu Joy Long) remained at 56.4%.

  Production volume of special-purpose EVs was 2,943 units. Production volume increased for seven consecutive months. 31 vehicle makers produced special-purpose EVs, which was a record high. The top three vehicle makers that produced special-purpose EVs in September were Guohong Automobile, Chongqing Ruichi Automobile, and Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd.

Hybrid vehicle (HV)

  Production volume of hybrid vehicles (HVs) in September 2015 was 1,260 units. Of the 1,260 units, 1,245 units were passenger HVs. Most of the passenger HVs was produced by Toyota’s local joint ventures (JVs); however, Dongfeng Nissan started producing the Murano HV in August and produced over 500 units in September. Two bus makers, Shanghai Sunwin Bus and Suzhou King Long Bus, produced a total of 15 hybrid buses.

Electrified vehicle import

  All of the 2,645 electrified vehicles that were imported in September 2015 were passenger cars. Passenger HVs accounted for 92% of the electrified vehicles that were imported, most of which were Toyota vehicles. Because the number of the Tesla Model S and BMW i3 passenger EVs that were imported declined, the number of passenger EVs that were imported in September did not reach 200 units. Passenger PHVs that were imported were the BMW i8 and VW Golf GTE.

Trends in China

Government decides to support development and promotion of new energy vehicles at State Council Standing Committee meeting

 Premier Li Keqiang announced that the government would support the policy on the development of new energy vehicles at the State Council Standing Committee meeting that was held on September 29. The following decisions were made.

・Research and development of drive batteries and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) will be supported; connected car technology will be launched on a trial basis.
・Government agencies and companies will clarify the percentage of vehicles that are replaced with new energy vehicles at the time of renewal. Subsidies for fuel and operations will be reduced in districts that do not meet the new energy vehicle adoption ratio target for public vehicles.
・New business styles, such as using new energy vehicles for car-sharing, will be created.
・Enforcement of traffic regulations and purchase restrictions on new energy vehicles in cities will be prohibited. If these regulations and restrictions are currently being enforced, they must be stopped immediately. Both traffic regulations and purchase restrictions are being enforced in the following cities: Beijing City, Shanghai City, Guangzhou City, Tianjin City, Hangzhou City, Shenzhen City, and Guiyang City. Only traffic regulations are being enforced in the following cities: Harbin City, Changchun City, Lanzhou City, Jinan City, Chengdu City, Wuhan City, and Nanchang City.

Government adds Tesla and BMW vehicles to Beijing new energy vehicle list

  On September 30, 2015, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology released the “4th Beijing new energy passenger car manufacturer and model list” on their official website. Five brands and six models, including the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3, were added to this list. Import EVs were added to the list for the first time. In the future, those who purchase a Tesla EV or BMW EV in Beijing City will be eligible for preferential treatment that buyers of new energy vehicles can receive.

Shenzhen City: government introduces “provisional subsidy control policy for prevalence of new energy vehicles in Shenzhen City”

  On September 28, 2015, the Shenzhen municipal government introduced the “provisional subsidy control policy for the prevalence of new energy vehicles in Shenzhen City.” The government will pay a subsidy of CNY 10,000 to tens of thousands yuan to companies that purchase and use new energy vehicles (excluding public buses) and to companies that invest in charging equipment. The government will also pay a maximum subsidy of CNY 500,000 per vehicle to companies that purchase electric buses or commercial FCVs. Companies with businesses associated with new energy vehicles or charging equipment are subject to the subsidy.

Wuxi City: government officially introduces “prevalence plan for new energy vehicles in Wuxi City”

  On September 11, 2015, the Wuxi municipal government officially introduced the “prevalence plan for new energy vehicles in Wuxi City.” According to the plan, 3,000 new energy vehicles will prevail in Wuxi City by 2017. The government has set prevalence targets as follows: 600 vehicles (100 buses, 120 passenger cars, and 380 special-purpose vehicles) in 2015, 1,000 vehicles in 2016, and 1,400 vehicles in 2017. When constructing a new large-scale public facility or apartment, a charging facility must be built on the parking space of the premises. The amount of space needed to build a charging facility is at least 10% of the parking space.

Guizhou Province: government introduces “promotion policy on prevalence of new energy vehicles”

  On September 22, 2015, the Guizhou provisional government introduced the “promotion policy on the prevalence of new energy vehicles.” According to the policy, at least 20% of the vehicles that each government agency and public office purchases and replaces in 2015 must consist of new energy vehicles. The percentage will be increased to 30% in 2016 and it will continue to increase every year. In addition, EVs, PHVs (including extender vehicles), and FCVs will be exempt from vehicle purchase tax from September 2014 to December 2017. New energy vehicles can be independently registered. Vehicle owners who register their new vehicles can select license plates of their choice and have their vehicles inspected anywhere in Guizhou Province.

BYD to launch new e6 electric taxi with cruising range of 400 km in Shenzhen City

  On September 29, 2015, BYD Commercial Vehicles delivered 35 new e6 EVs (with a cruising range of 400 km and over) to Shenzhen Xihu Transport Group. The company will start operations of a large-scale electric taxi business in Shenzhen City.

GAC Toyota to launch “Leahead” EV at end of 2015

  In April 2015, GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the “Leahead i1,” which is its first “Leahead” (own-brand) electric concept car. The deputy general manager of GAC Toyota, Mr. Huang Yongqiang, announced that the automaker would launch the Leahead EV at the end of 2015. The dimensions of the “Leahead i1” are 3,930 mm in length, 1,695 mm in width, 1,555 mm in height, and 2,460 mm in wheelbase. Vehicle weight is 1,255 kg. The vehicle is equipped with a motor that has a maximum output of 70 kW. Maximum speed of the vehicle is 130 km/h. GAC Toyota is competitive for the interior space of its vehicles in the small car class.

Renault to produce “Dongfeng” brand EVs in China

  Mr. Zhu Yanfeng, chairman of the Dongfeng Group, recently visited Renault Research and Development Center and introduced the EV production plan for Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company Limited. This plan is part of the contract that was concluded at the time Dongfeng and Renault established the JV. According to the plan, vehicles based on the “Fluence Z.E.” will be produced at the Wuhan plant and sold under the Dongfeng brand from 2017.

Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor to launch passenger EVs with cruising range of 250 km in 2017

  On October 12, 2015, Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor Co., Ltd. introduced its business strategy to launch 14 new vehicles, including new energy vehicles, in the next four years. The automaker has already launched a product plan and started research and development of new energy vehicles. Its first EV has a cruising range of 250 km and is scheduled to be launched in 2017.

Energy-saving and new energy vehicle network
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* China Automotive Technology & Research Center (CATARC) is affiliated to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC). CATARC assists the government in such activities as auto standard and technical regulation formulating, product certification testing, quality system certification, industry planning, policy research, information service and common technology research. Beijing CATARC Automotive Technology Development Company is the Beijing office and a sole subsidiary of CATARC. The Beijing office researches on policies, technical regulations, and standards for promoting Chinese automotive industry.