Customers watch a BYD Han electric vehicle in a mall on July 12, 2020 in Hangzhou, China.
Long Wei | Visual China Group | Getty Images
BEIJING – As China’s electric car market warms up, Tesla and BYD are among the winners, data for 2020 sales shows.
Less than six months after Chinese automaker BYD launched its luxury electric sedan “Han”, the car jumped to eighth place among the country’s best-selling new energy vehicles late Tuesday, according to the Chinese Passenger Car Association. The new energy category includes electric and plug-in hybrid power sources.
BYD, backed by American billionaire Warren Buffett, said sales of the Han sedan have increased every month since delivery began in August. The sedan is available in both a purely electric and a plug-in hybrid version.
The “Han” car was the fourth best-seller in the category for December, the association said.
Tesla’s Model 3 sedan took the top spot year-round, according to the report, selling more than 137,000 vehicles in 2020.
For passenger cars regardless of the energy source, Tesla’s Model 3 took 10th place in December.
Mini-Auto sold better than Tesla in December
As Chinese consumers closed 2020 and looked ahead, they bought more than 35,000 Hongguang Minis. This made it the best-selling new energy vehicle in December and the second best of the year.
The vehicle is a tiny electric car with a starting price of 28,800 ($ 4,400) developed by General Motors’ joint venture with Wuling Motors and the state-owned SAIC Motor.
Two more miniature electric cars developed by local Chinese automakers made the top 10 list, highlighting the contrast between the strong demand for high-end and budget vehicles in the electric car category.
Xpeng’s P7 luxury sedan, which like BYD’s Han, started deliveries this summer, was the ninth best-selling new energy vehicle in December.
Electric does well among high-end SUVs
Li Auto’s first and only model, the Li One SUV, sold thousands more cars last year than Nio’s best-selling ES6 SUV.
The two start-ups even made it into the 10 best-selling high-end SUVs in China across all power sources. Li Auto finished eighth while Nio finished ninth.
The Li One is more of a hybrid in that the car contains a fuel tank that can assist in charging the battery when a charging station is not available, alleviating one of the main problems consumers face when purchasing an electric car.
According to the Passenger Car Group, total sales of passenger cars in the world’s largest automobile market fell by 6.8% to around 19.3 million units last year. New energy cars were able to resist the decline, rising 9.8% to 1.1 million, the report said.
Some in China’s auto industry have previously expressed doubts about the accuracy of the federation’s numbers by relying on self-reporting.
2020 new energy car ranking
Here is the full 2020 ranking with the parent company in brackets:
1. Model 3 (Tesla)
2. Hongguang Mini (SAIC-GM-Wuling)
3. Ora R1 (Great Wall Motor)
4.Aion S (GAC engine)
5. Qin EV Sedan (BYD)
6. eQ (Chery)
7. Li One (Li Auto)
8. Han EV (WORLD)
10. 5 PHEV (BMW)