China’s auto market, the largest in the world, is shifting towards an electric future, and homegrown brands are outpacing established global brands. Chinese automakers are set to dominate the upcoming Shanghai auto show with their new electric-drive models that are gaining popularity both at home and abroad.
BYD, in particular, has emerged as a leader in this space, boasting a 69% surge in sales in China this year alone, giving it an 11% share of the overall car market. This has outpaced global brands such as Volkswagen and Toyota, which are struggling to keep up with the growing popularity of electric vehicles in China.
Electric Vehicles Gain Popularity in China
China’s passenger car sales were down 13% in the first quarter of the year, but sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles rose by 22%. This represents a significant shift, with combustion-engine cars made by global automakers dominating the entry-level market for passenger cars in China for years.
Now, however, Chinese automakers such as BYD are offering electric vehicles at competitive prices, and they are outpacing traditional combustion-engine cars. BYD’s Song plug-in hybrid SUV and Dolphin EV, for example, have outperformed top-selling cars from global brands in their respective segments.
The Rise of EVs in China
More than 40 auto brands have followed Tesla‘s lead in cutting prices on electric vehicles since January, creating a price war that has fueled the popularity of EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in China.
BYD dominates China’s market for plug-in hybrids, and these vehicles account for more than half of BYD’s sales this year, giving the company the scale it needs to compete on price across its lineup.
Tesla has also gained a significant share of the Chinese market, with a 27% increase in Chinese sales in the first quarter of 2023. The company cut prices in China by between 6% and almost 14% in January, putting the starting prices for Teslas in China between $7,500 and about $10,700 lower than current U.S. prices.
The Future of Electric Vehicles in China
With China’s exports of electric vehicles growing fast, led by EVs and PHEVs, Chinese automakers such as BYD are expected to dominate the global EV market in the coming years. While established global brands are struggling to keep up, Chinese brands are innovating and creating products that are gaining popularity both at home and abroad.
As China’s auto market shifts towards an electric future, it’s clear that electric vehicles will continue to gain popularity and outpace traditional combustion-engine cars. Chinese brands such as BYD are leading the way, and they are poised to dominate the global EV market in the years to come.