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What electric vehicle manufacturers can learn from China – their biggest market

Despite the pandemic, global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increased by 43% in 2020. Total EV sales in China were 1.3 million, an increase of 8% compared to 2019, and 41% of all EVs sold worldwide. Though Europe sold more than China for the first time since 2015, China is still the world’s biggest national market for EVs.

The best-selling EV in China is not Tesla’s Model 3, but the tiny Hongguang Mini EV, produced by SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, a joint venture between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, US carmaker General Motors and another Chinese company, Wuling Motors.

The conglomerate positions the car as “the People’s Commuting Tool” in its advertising, with a starting price of 28,800 yuan (about US$4,485, or £3,200) and a fully charged driving range of 120km. Since its debut in July 2020, the Hongguang Mini EV has sold over 270,000 units and was the best-selling EV worldwide in January 2021.

This was quite a surprise, as Chinese consumers have traditionally preferred larger models with internal combustion engines. But our recent research on consumer preferences in China reveals significant market opportunities for EVs in small cities and how innovative business models could encourage even more people to ditch their fossil-fuelled cars.

EVs in big and small cities

China aims to reach a peak in its carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Since 2009, the Chinese government has offered subsidies and tax waivers and built charging points to encourage EV buyers and manufacturers.

But those subsidies are now drying up. Finding out what Chinese motorists like in EVs could tell us what’s behind growth in the world’s largest national market, and whether it’s likely to continue or stall. This matters not only for China but the rest of the world. China has been the world’s largest emitter since 2006, and internal combustion engine cars are among the biggest sources of carbon emissions globally.

Continues…

For the full article visit the Conversation.

ENDS

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Press release reference number: 21/157

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