China’s BYD and peers like Beijing Auto and Roewe are quietly selling enough electric vehicles (EVs) to make China the world’s largest market for both electric and conventional vehicles.
Sales of EVs in China reached 770,000 units last year – more than half of all new-energy vehicles sold globally, the South China Morning Post reported.
Driving the explosive growth is a government desire to promote the country as a world leader in green vehicles, and in their next incarnation as “smart” cars, in part because of serious pollution problems at home but also as a broader strategy to become a technological power in keeping with its global economic clout.
"That vision is embodied in the “Made in China 2025” (MIC2025) industrial strategy, an ambitious plan first unveiled in 2015 to have the country catch up with global leaders and become self-sufficient in 10 core technologies, including new-energy vehicles," the report said.
“To become a world leader in terms of technologies is not an easy job,” said Peter Chen, a Shanghai-based engineer with US car parts maker TRW. “Given the huge market size in China, EV is certainly a key industry where the government wants to develop its own players to be world leaders.”
Under the MIC2025 plan, "Beijing wants domestic carmakers to be selling 3 million EVs a year, making up 80 per cent of total domestic sales, while the top two EV makers would have 10 per cent of their total overseas by 2025, although it did not specify which companies," the report said.
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