Over 17,500 EVs Sold In China In March, Tesla Sales Soar For First Time

APR 22 2016 BY MARK KANE 72

Plug-in electric car sales in China – March 2016 (source: EV Sales Blog)

Plug-in electric car sales in China – March 2016 (source: EV Sales Blog)

Over 17,500 plug-in electric cars were sold in China last month, with strong year-over-year growth coming in at a tidy 62%;  highlighted by the handy individual data points presented by EV Sales Blog (right graph).

The best selling model in March, and in the first quarter, is once again the BYD Tang plug-in hybrid SUV.

BYD is also growing much faster than the industry average – with 7,010 total sales of plug-in cars (e5, e6, Qin EV300 pure electric cars, and Qin, Tang plug-in hybrids).  BYD’s growth hit 144% in March.

BYD March sales:

  • Tang – 3,111
  • e6 – 2,016
  • Qin – 1,143
  • e5 – 511
  • Qin EV300 – 229

Other noticable results were posted by the BAIC E-Series EVs with 2,361 sold in March (5,583 YTD) and the JAC i EV, with 1,802 moved in March (4,410 YTD).

Also the Tesla Model S shines really for the first time ever in China, with 1,304 sales last month and nearly 2,000 in Q1 – good enough to set new record this year, and put the company well on pace to exceed its 5,000 2016 goal.

March’s result may indicate that Tesla has finally been at least somewhat successful in getting its message to the Chinese consumer, while in the process creating a strong enough demand to overcome the hugely oppressive barriers to selling cars in the country as a 100% foreign importer (and not as a 50/50 JV partner with a local Chinese entity – such as the other major OEMs employ to access volume sales).

Overall the first quarter ends in China with over 43,000 plug-in car sales, compared to less than 28,000 in the U.S.

Categories: BYD, Sales

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72 Comments on "Over 17,500 EVs Sold In China In March, Tesla Sales Soar For First Time"

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Looks like Tesla is finally starting to crack the China market.

Can’t happen soon enough for the planet!

You do realize that China gets most of its electricity from coal, right? Oh, maybe you don’t.

Might as well not even try right Mark?

Just keep using those gas cars, so as the grid gets cleaner (and it is), and more renewable energy comes online, the excessive emissions just keep on going forever and there is no way to reap the benefits — and the city centers in Beijing just keep getting worse and worse.

And all to try and to get out of your short position.

Question, do you have a soul or conscious at all? I mean really, do you feel good working every day to oppress life changing technology for your future and your kids future, so you can line your pockets? Why not just exit your Tesla position and go try to crush souls somewhere else where you aren’t harming mankind as well, there is lots of other companies out there.

Well said. Cheering for the good of humanity automatically qualify you to be labeled.

+1 on the “do you even have a soul?” comment.

One sorry character indeed.

Nice thought, except that China brings less AE online yearly then they do coal plants. In fact for the next 15 years, China will open a new 1gw coal every 7-10 days. IOW, each year, they will expand coal burning by 35-52 GW each year.
How much alternative energy will China add? Well, they claim they added 30 GW of wind and 16 of solar. IOW, the have a true maximum of 7.5gw of wind( 25% in China, not 30%) and solar is blocked badly by their ongoing brown cloud, but let’s give them 50% (impossible, but easy math ) or 8gw.
So the max us 15.5 GW production from AE, while the continue to expand coal at more than double that rate ( possibly up to 5x the amount ).

Sorry, but I back EVs, however, EVs going into China will make things far worse, not better esp if we do Paris accord.

Ha…good one.
China’s solar and wind energy capacity increased by 74% and 34%, respectively, in 2015, while coal consumption dropped by 3.7%.
I laughed a bit… Thanks.

Exactly. China’s solar and wind capacities are double that of the United States.

I realize that you Teslarians are math-challenged, but this isn’t really that complicated: according the Wikipedia China derived 73% of its domestic electricity from coal in 2014 (the most recent data available). It doesn’t matter HOW fast solar is growing there off its tiny base if the overwhelming number of EVs will be charged by coal for MANY years to come, in which case a modern, emissions-compliant gasoline powered vehicle (or better yet, a light hybrid) is FAR less polluting than sticking your Chinese Tesla into an electrical outlet (unless of course you have solar cells or a wind turbine on your roof).

“It doesn’t matter HOW fast solar is growing there off its tiny base if the overwhelming number of EVs will be charged by coal for MANY years to come”

Apparently you are not familiar with compound growth. At 75% annual growth rate, it takes 7-8 years for solar to be 50% of the electricity capacity. (from a base of 1.8% today).

I thought you were trolling with that comment so I just grabbed the first few lines from a cleantechnica article…I didn’t think you were serious.

Nope, you’re wrong twice. First, even on electricity from coal an EV is better. It has slightly lower CO2 emissions even in this context, and crucially absolutely zero emissions in the city – a very acute problem in China. Second, it obviously does matter how quickly renewable grows. You appear to be the math-challenged one here. According to your math, for how long do these trends have to continue before coal is 50% of the energy? 30%? 10%? Oh s**t, shorter than the life of the car!

Speaking of math challenged, well I would fall into that category too, but at least I know when to go long and when not to go short.
How is life on fantasy island, btw?

As regards your point, that since dirty coal is mostly powering the grid hence producing more pollution than emitting vehicles is simply hogwash.
Besides, the Chinese are working to clean up their grid, so though they will be using less of the worst sort of coal by laws already enacted. Other harsh measures will be taken and promotion of ev’s will continue and accelerate.
I’d guess within 5 years this mostly specious argument will not be heard much anymore, as at it’s core it is fundamentally flawed. Then as the grid moves inexorably towards cleaner sources of power, the final leg propping this argument up will thankfully collapse.

…and kids, pay attention in school. You really don’t know everything. In fact you know very little. Find your passion and work, work, work… and maybe someday you can buy a little red Model III. Be a Prince/Princess among people. We are missing one.

You get higher milage on charging based off coal, than the milage you get from fossil fuels produced by coal energy.

Yes, China will probably power the Tesla with coal, the most carbon intensive power source. It’s a good point to bring up.

After digging around it seems that a Tesla Model S is roughly the same carbon footprint as a Honda Civic. Not bad for worst case.


Tesla Model S sales will likely be replacing high-end cars like Land Rover, Mercedes, BMW, etc. So even with coal, the net CO2 decrease is significant. However, the article also points out very significant increases in undesirable emissions, “primarily nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).”

I would still argue that it’s more of a hit on coal than on Tesla.

China has far less emissions per capita than the USA or Europe.

No. CO2 per capita is higher in China than in EU.

It’s very likely still better for the environment. Even if it’s not, it moves the emissions out of the city.

As China’s grid gets cleaner, so does the EV fleet.

Refining petroleum into gasoline takes massive amounts of energy as well. This makes the crossover point for cleaner cars much closer than you’d think.

I suspect you knew all of that. 😉

They do but they are changing. They said they would peak coal by 2030 but stats show that they may have already peaked. The people are complaining about the smog. So they’ve been installing solar panels, wind turbines , and nukes like crazy

You do realize that it takes electricity to refine oil into gasoline, not to mention the energy consumed getting the stuff out of the ground,pumped or otherwise transported, “some of which is probably electricity” you speak as if gasoline just magically appears at the pump where you buy it and the only environmental cost is you burning it in your car. Go figure geez…

Any reputable study says coal-powered EVs are far worse than new emmission-compliant gasoline cars, inclusive of what it takes to refine the gas. The smog problem in China is from coal power & industrial plants and older diesels. There’s a reason why the air is very clean in, for example, New York City these days despite an almost complete absence of EVs, and that’s because modern emissions-controlled vehicles are pretty damn clean.

once you drive electric you will never go back. The coal argument is old. If your read Insideevs your already hooked. Welcome to the electric revolution. Pro patria.

The air in any city with motor vehicle traffic is atrocious. That obviously includes New York city.

PM2.5 emissions from “clean” internal combustion engines cross right into your blood stream.

You should link to the studies you claim back you up. The ones I’m familiar with say charging a vehicle from coal is better than all but Prius (barely). Also doesn’t mention huge impact from moving emissions out of the city away from people.

“Green vehicles are key for the development of China’s auto industry as auto exhaust emissions already account for 70 percent of the country’s air pollution in major Chinese cities, Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, was quoted as saying.”


There are recent studies by Universities that came out indicating this. I don’t how reputable they are, but they do exist to be fair.

Any reputable study? Show me four why don’t you. Reputable meaning scientific – published and peer reviewed. It’s really not hard to work out a ballpark estimate. Basically you can assume that all the carbon in the coal or petroleum ends up burned, that is oxidized, forming CO2. Producing one kilogram of gasoline consumes roughly another kilogram to extract it. Given that EVs are four times as energy efficient as ICE, but making electricity from coal is only 40% efficient, you end up with about 3.2 times the mass of hydrocarbon fuel per mile versus coal (pure carbon) per mile. Hydrogen is ridiculously light, so by weight most of the fuel is carbon, while coal of course is pure carbon. Then there’s losses – perhaps as much as 20% – in the grid. So rather than 3.2 let’s say it’s merely a factor of two. Of course my attempt to assess this is very incomplete. But the strength is precisely that it’s simple. And it’s enough for me to need some solid evidence if you want me to believe it’s still somehow possible for an EV to pollute as much as an ICE, never mind the average EV versus the… Read more »

Show me 4 studies not done by Chinese based researchers, that says that cutting gas based cars with extensive pollution controls such as catalytic convertors, and moving to EVs that are nearly 100% powered by local coals that are not running pollution controls, will improve the health of the local citizens.

They do not exist. Period. Why not? Because China’s cities are the only place on this planet that has that many local coal plants running without pollution controls turn on.
Look at their brown clouds. That is not from cars. That is from the coal burning for steel, concrete, but mostly, electricity.

Just as the far right like to ignore the science and even facts about climate change. You lefties ignore facts and science about things like this.

You think Wan Gang is lying or misinformed?

..so spake VW. Achtung! Our diesels are clean.

You do realize that cheap Chinese solar panels and wind turbines are leading 3rd world countries to build their electrical grids around renewables before they can be trapped by entrenched coal lobbies? Check out Cleantechnica.com, where major renewable deals in those countries are announced several times a week. Would that be happening if China wasn’t pushing its industry to make this transition?

The reason NYC is so clean is that your Wall Street masters exported all the good union jobs to China – thus exporting our pollution. So maybe China is preparing to export its jobs to the rest of Asia, to Latin America, and to Africa – the very countries where it’s selling solar panels and wind turbines. That in turn lets future China shut its own coal plants down as fast as America is.

That has nothing to do with it. China choose to add massive amounts of cheap coal, manipulate their money, and subsidize/dump goods on other nations, esp America.
IOW,many of those jobs moved to China because they stole them.
And China’s choice of coal was just that: China’s. They could have been using new nuclear plants, but did not want imported. Only to make their own. Likewise the choice of not using AE up till now, was to dump on the west and kill our production. Thank God that ppl like musk saw this and did this the right way. But u far lefties are killing the world by making excuses for the nation which emits a minimum of 33% of co2, and likely more than 50%.

And where does the electricity for refining oil to gas come from – the wall outlet ? It’s about 5kWh per gallon of gas, enough to propel a model s 20 miles for each gallon of gas not produced.

Most of china’s gasoline is imported, not locally refined.

You do realize that China is installing more PV solar than any other country right?

Mark B Spiegel said:

“You do realize that China gets most of its electricity from coal, right? Oh, maybe you don’t.”

You do realize that advising people to bet against Tesla by short-selling the stock is almost guaranteed to lose them money, don’t you? Oh, maybe you don’t.

They also installed more solar in 2014 than the US had installed EVER at that point…
2015 was also the first year their coal imports dropped over the previous year…
They have also publicly stated they are moving away from coal (an carbon in general)…
What was your point again?

What China says, and what the truth is, are regularly 2 very different things.

China will add 32-52 GW of coal plants each year.
They added less than a real 16gw of wind and solar last year ( 25% of 30 for wind and 50% of 16 for solar ) and have no intention of increasing it.

Please include links. You’ve made claims which turned out to be inaccurate. Do you have a financial interest in Tesla?

I guess things change so fast, and the data from China is unreliable enough that it can be hard to stay informed.

Also China is the only country developing the LFTR. When that comes online China will have the cheapest, safest, non-poluting electricity source on the planet. See flibe-energy.com

Totally agree with you. China is the only nation where adding EVs will actually make not just co2 worst, but their brown cloud is going to get much worst.

China’s shutting down coal plants every year, as a deliberate matter of national policy, while installing more solar than the whole rest of the world.

Coal plants can be made clean, and China has no need to import coal. This is why coal powered electric cars in China is the future.


coal plants are made “clean” the same way they used to make diesel “clean”…

While still a fast growing market I was hoping it would at least double this year. Hopefully this market picks up more steam when new models enter the market like BYD’s new suv Song.

Uh, Oh! Tesla margins will be very bad on these sales. Looking forward to a dismal Q1 ER.

? Don’t they make the same margin wherever they sell their cars. If there is an import tariff for a country or vat or higher transport cost that just gets added to the cost of the car. They make like 25% (on average) for each car they sell, no matter where?


Tesla has a HUGE, margin-killing incentive program in China, as reported last fall by this very web site. Or do you Teslarians consider InsideEVs to be a “FUD-spreader”?

So, your argument is that Tesla is trying hard to sell more cars in China in a deliberate attempt to lower their overall profit margin?

Why is it that Tesla bashers cannot grasp the fact that sticking to the truth would serve their cause better than such obvious B.S.?

I don’t think “Dr. Valueseeker” actually believes the absurd cowflop he posts. He’s likely just another of the increasingly desperate Tesla stock short-sellers trying to find something, anything, to say to stem the avalanche of increasing support for Tesla Motors from people willing to put down $1000 “earnest money” on a Model ≡.

Honestly, it boggles my mind that these people think it’s still worth their time to write and post Tesla bashing comments to the Internet. Like trying to stop a river by swimming upstream!

Uh Oh, Dr. FudSpreader is here to slime yet again another Tesla post!

Well Doc, you and your buddies Spiegel, Anton Wahlman, Niedermeyer and the other Tesla-shorter/gamblers over on Seeking Liars now have another reason to change your shorts after Tesla starts to ramp up sales first in Europe and now starting in the huge China market.

Just wait until the Model 3 gets to mass production with its 400,000 and counting pre-orders of which many are overseas!

Hopefully this indicates the charging infrastructure is improving. The Chinese use a carrot stick approach to get things done. They dangle a desiccated carrot in front of your nose, and if that does not work they hit you with a stick, repeatedly.

And it is a big stick with spikes on them…

LOL ffbj, but they don’t call it dessicated–they call it freeze dried because it makes it sound better that way!

Got cut off.

Dessicated/freeze dried, kind of like Mark Spiegel and Dr. FudSpreader’s money-grabbing souls.

@Get Real,
It is sad to see InsideEV keep posts from creatures like you, who constantly insult others and provide nothing useful. You must be in a lot of pain, living in whatever hell you live. Don’t forget your pain killers.

After Tesla decimated big auto with the half mil deposits for the model 3, all the ICE trolls are going to start infiltrating EV sites to stir sh$t up.

Ha….have to pour less whisky..misspelt my own name…..ian


If you had your way there probably would be no EVs, thus no insideevs.com. People who seek “value” – as opposed to values – always believe in short-term greed.

Value vs values, now that is pretty super!

Thanks super390, you put it very well. I just returned from a 30 mile overnight backpacking trip in the mountains to relax and exercise to find that Dr. FudSpreader responded to my reflection on his lack of integrity. I’m pretty convinced that Doc and Mark Spiegel and probably some other usernames posting their short-driven anti-Tesla FUD here are either the same individual or a small group who are coordinating their campaign to drive down Tesla stocks by posting their lame FUD here since the average IEVs user is probably well off and many are investors I’m sure. I’m equally sure they are getting desperate as Tesla racks up over 15 BILLION in pre-orders on the M3. I also doubt if these people even drive EVs as that is not part of their worldview of leaching money of the greater society. Since FudSpreader asked I do feel some sorrow everytime I think of my comrades who were maimed and killed in the hell-hole of Iraq over oil and power. All this so that financial leeches like the above mentioned usernames can get rich while destroying the future of our planet including their children and mine just so they can flaunt their… Read more »

Dr. ValueSeeker said:

“…creatures like you, who constantly insult others and provide nothing useful.”

Let’s see if that applies to you:

Creatures like you, who constantly insult Tesla and provide nothing useful.

Yeah, it’s a perfect fit.

Can’t imagine the sort of hell you are in if in fact you are shorting Tesla’s stock. Better snort a few extra lines…

Why are TSLA stock short sellers who have absolutely no interest in green cars allowed to blatantly dump their garbage on this site with impunity?

Not even Seeking Alpha puts up with this sort of behavior from undisclosed short sellers on their site.

Contrary to what some may think or say the site is very egalitarian. They will allow anybody, up to a point, to say just about anything, they want, and
‘Wack-A-Troll’ gets tiring.
I think though they would prefer it if civility was practiced more…

Hey Nix,

We take your comment (as well as others given online and in emails) into serious consideration. We really give our very best effort to not remove/moderate people in the community.

That said there are a handful of people who are both frequent to the site, but at the same time ONLY post on one topic on the site, with the intention of side-tracking/devolving the conversation for seemingly personal gain.

As we spoke of earlier, moderating for “intent” is a not only a hard thing to do (time requirements), it is also a very slippery slope once that sort of policy is in place.

But in a couple of specific cases, where there has been several public/private complaints about a particular person/instance perhaps it is best to acknowledge those bulk requests over the current moderating policy. In this regard IEV itself would not be moderating, but the community self-policing itself.

Just on a personal note.

While it certainly isn’t pleasant to sometimes have to weed through some of the ‘specific’ sidetrack comments in a story as a reader when they pop up from time-to-time (especially if you want to actually have a discussion on the topic), from the other side it is also just as disheartening (maybe moreso) for the author of the piece to also see a discussion de-railed completely after putting in so much work on a story.

There seems to be a lot of argument about EVs using electricity from coal. Most of these individuals have not drove an EV and think an EV is a golf cart. They continue on their merry way of driving 10 to maybe 20MPG in their gas guzzler. Once gas goes up they are the 1st to complain. They never think of all the energy that is used in extraction, transportation to refinery, refining, transportation again of petrol, pumping of petrol and all the spillage.
As far as I know electricity does not need transportation and it never spills. Yes coal pollutes. However we have done a lot with better emissions from coal plants.
You could ask all the scientists and they would agree that there is more pollution from all the gas guzzlers than coal power plants. They would also comment that all EVs are way more efficient than any gas guzzler or hybrid vehicle out there

Chinese are improving their ability to live with BEVs every day, and the main thing they care about, “does it improve the air I have to breathe?” is obviously a benefit with BEVs. Doesn’t matter how “clean” a fossil-fuel-burning car is marketed to be. You can’t beat ZERO smoke coming out the back of a car when it comes to reducing smog.