Though overall auto sales in China have rebounded sharply following the Covid-19 outbreak, the electric vehicle market cratered in May with a double-digit decline.
According to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), sales of new energy vehicles (NEV) dropped 23.5 per cent year-on-year to 82,000 units in May, while total automobile sales leaped 14.5 per cent annually. The downturn continues to drop for almost a year after Beijing declared cuts of up to 60 per cent in EV subsidies in July. The world’s biggest EV market recorded its first-ever annual decline last year, with 1.2 million units sold.
In 2017, China’s top industry regulator set a 2020 target of 2 million EVs, touching 20 per cent of new car sales by 2025. That China will be unseated as the world’s largest market for electric vehicles seems doubtful, but grim car sales figures are a clear reminder of the disparity between the near-term ambitions of Beijing and actual sales.
The latest conversations TechNode has had with analysts indicate a strong divide on this topic and their views on government subsidies and market demand. Let’s first take a look at their figures.