CATARC report - April 2016: New Energy Vehicle trends in China

50,000 vehicles produced in 1Q 2016; passenger EVs account for half of March share


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. Click here for a list of CATARC reports.

  Production volume of new energy vehicles (electric vehicles [EVs], plug-in hybrid vehicles [PHVs], and fuel cell vehicle [FCVs]; excluding vehicles equipped with lead-acid batteries) in March 2016 in China increased by 54% year-over-year (y/y) and by 168% month-over-month (m/m) to 22,129units. Production volume of new energy vehicles in the first quarter of 2016 increased by 1.72-fold y/y to 46,700 units. Passenger EVs accounted for nearly half of the new energy vehicle production share in March 2016. Production volume on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis for special-purpose EVs and passenger PHVs increased, but that for plug-in hybrid buses declined. By vehicle type, passenger cars accounted for 76%, buses accounted for 16%, and special-purpose vehicles accounted for 8% of the new energy vehicle production share in March 2016.

Fig. 1 Production volume of new energy vehicles (Oct. 2015 to Mar. 2016)

Production volumes in China

Table 1 Production volume of new energy vehicles by type in Mar. 2016

Passenger car
Special-purpose vehicle

Fig. 2 New energy vehicle production shares by type (Mar. 2016)

Plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV)

  Production volume of PHVs in March 2016 increased by 5-fold m/m to 5,966 units. Of the 5,966 units, 5,534 units were passenger PHVs. Production volume of passenger PHVs increased on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. Eight automakers produced passenger PHVs in March. These automakers were BYD (Shenzhen and Xi'an), Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), Zhejiang Haoqing Automobile, Beijing Benz, Brilliance BMW, and First Automobile Works (FAW). Production volume of the BYD Tang accounted for 48.1% of the passenger PHV production share and was consecutively ranked first, but that of the BYD Qin did not reach 1,000 units. Production volume of the SAIC Roewe 550 PHEV exceeded 1,000 units. FAW started production of its Hongqi H7 PHV in March 2016.

  Production volume of plug-in hybrid buses in March 2016 declined on a month-over-month basis to 432 units. As in the previous month, most of the plug-in hybrid buses that were produced were mid-size or large buses with a length of 10 m or greater. 10 bus makers produced plug-in hybrid buses in March. Parallel hybrid systems were mainly used in these buses. By fuel type, natural gas buses accounted for 66% of the plug-in hybrid bus production share.

Electric vehicle (EV)

  Production volume of EVs in March 2016 was 16,163 units. Of the 16,163 units, 11,202 units were passenger EVs. Passenger EVs accounted for more than 50% of the new energy vehicle production share in March. Production volume of the new BYD e6 exceeded 2,000 units on a monthly basis, surpassing Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC) vehicles to first place. Production volume of both the BYD Qin EV and BYD E5 exceeded 500 units. 23 automakers produced passenger EVs in March. The top five were Shenzhen BYD, BAIC, China Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC), Xi'an BYD, and Chery Automobile. Cruising range of passenger EVs significantly increased. Passenger EVs with a cruising range exceeding 150 km accounted for 97% of the passenger EV production share in March.

  Production volume of electric buses in March 2016 was 3,155 units. Production volume significantly increased on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. The number of bus makers that produced electric buses in March slightly increased from the previous month to 28. The top five were Zhongtong Bus, Nanjing King Long Bus, Jiangsu Joy Long, Ankai Automobile, and Beiqi Foton. Of the electric buses produced in March, mid-size buses with a length of 6 to 8 m accounted for 38.2% of the production share. Mid-size bus production share declined by half compared to the 78% share in January; however, it accounted for the majority of the production share.

  Production volume of special-purpose EVs in March 2016 was 1,806 units, which was a record high. Production volume increased on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. The number of vehicle makers that produced special-purpose EVs in March significantly increased from the previous month to 27. The top five were Guohong Automobile, Dongfeng Motor Commercial Vehicle, Shandong Tangjun Ouling Automobile, Nanjing King Long Bus, and China National Heavy Duty Truck Group. Total production volume of the top five accounted for 93.1% of the special-purpose EV production share. Special-purpose EVs were mainly used to transport cargos (94%) and collect garbage.

Trends in China

NDRC agrees with production increase of BJEV passenger EVs

  On April 6, 2016, the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) agreed with Beijing Electric Vehicle’s (BJEV’s) plan to implement a project to increase the production of passenger EVs. Total investment of this project is CNY 1.15 billion of which existing asset is CNY 166.72 million and new investment is 982.78 million. Annual production capacity will be increased by 50,000 units to 70,000 units.

FAW to produce Hongqi electric vehicles

  On April 8, 2016, FAW Group announced that it will produce Hongqi brand PHVs and EVs in the next few years. According to the announcement, FAW will start the production of the Hongqi H7 PHV (mid-size sedan) at the end of 2016. As for the Hongqi electric sedan, a new platform will be used for the development and production will start from 2018. Furthermore, an HV that is priced lower than the H7 PHV will be produced.

PSA to launch 11 electric vehicle models within six years and plans to produce them in China

  On April 5, 2016, PSA Peugeot Citroen released its new management strategy “Push to Pass.” This new strategy includes the launch of new energy models. PSA plans to launch seven PHV models and four EV models within six years, starting from 2016 to 2020. The new energy vehicles will also be released in the Chinese market.

11 PSA new energy models planned for launch

Launch plan
3008 PHV
Compact SUV
508 PHV
Mid-size vehicle
608 PHV
Mid-size/large vehicle
Before 2021
308 PHV
Compact car
308 EV
EV Sedan
Mid-size vehicle
Before 2021
Mid-size SUV
Mid-size vehicle
Before 2021
Mid-size/large vehicle
Energy-saving and new energy vehicle network
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