China accustomed us to unprecedented growth of plug-in electric vehicle sales, but in recent months the situation is getting really tough.
Not only is the overall automotive market is shrinking quickly (another several percent year-over-year in September), but also the New Energy Vehicles (NEV) category is unable to resist the declining trend after cut of incentives earlier this year.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the total NEV (cars, buses, commercial vehicles) production and sales in September decreased by around a third!
- Total NEVs: production of 89,000 (down 29.9%) and sales of 80,000 (down 34.2%)
- BEVs: production of 74,000 (down 26.1%) and sales of 63,000 (down 33.1%)
- PHEVs: production of 15,000 (down 44.1%) and sales of 17,000 (down 38.4%)
It's not looking good, especially for start-ups that missed the previous wave.
Despite the first months of the year 2019 being positive, now the YTD numbers are weakening every month compared to 2018. PHEVs are already in the red.
- Total NEVs: production of 888,000 (up 20.9%) and sales of 872,000 (up 20.8%)
- BEVs: production of 717,000 (up 29.2%) and sales of 692,000 (up 27.8%)
- PHEVs: production of 170,000 (down 5.4%) and sales of 179,000 (down 0.8%)
- FCVs: production of 1,315 (up 7.7 times) and sales of 1,251 (up 7.6 times)
With three months to go, we doubt whether China will be able to maintain the growth of sales in 2019.
It's not guaranteed, despite heroic efforts from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.