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China Plug-in Volumes for 2016 Q1 & Q2 + July Update

China continues to storm ahead for plug-in vehicle (NEV, New Electric Vehicle) adoption. Every month is a new high in terms of share and volumes are 135 % above 2015 for the first 7 months. January started with doubling the volumes of last year and this trend continued during the whole first half of 2016, with the exception of March. It is very likely that 2016 sales in China will hit 430k plug-in vehicles making the vehicle park reaching 700k plug-ins.

July was the first month when NEVs passed the 2 % share mark in total passenger vehicle sales. With the current trend, it can reach around 3 % for the last months of 2016. The total passenger car market in China is still bullish and expected to finish at 23,5 million vehicles for 2016 (+11 %).

Chinese brands totally dominate the market. The best selling foreign brand in China is still Tesla (2 % share), with the Model S. The first Model X have reached the market in China during June. Most Chinese OEM and start-ups like LeEco in particular, have announced to combine NEVs with new business models for vehicle ownership and mobility services. Their capacity plans are counted in the 100-thousands, indicating the confidence of the Chinese industry in the NEV sector.

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EVs and PHEVs in China

With the success of the BYD Qin and Tang PHEV, the mix shifted towards plug-in hybrids in 2015.

For 2016, subsidies are depending on all-electric range, with 100 km as a minimum requirement. Many of the ever so popular mini-EVs had to be upgraded to obtain subsidies in China. This caused low sales of mini-EVs during Q1 and their rebound in Q2 and July.

Mini-EVs (A-segment) still stand for a large portion of BEV sales ( 25-30 %), but their significance is decreasing as consumers and authorities get more demanding. In 2015, the A-segment stood for 60 % of all BEV sales.

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July top-10 Plug-in sales China

July was good for some surprises, with BYD Qin PHEV selling more than BYD Tang PHEV, which has been the best selling plug-in in China in every month since September 2015.

Another is the Zhidou mini-EV, on the market since August 2015, halted for updates in Q1 and now back on a respectable 2nd place. The Zhidou D2, also known as the ‘ZD D2’, is made by the Zhi Dou Electric Vehicle Corporation, a branch of the Xindayang Group. A variant of the D2 for is sold by Zotye Automotive, dubbed 'E20'.

Missing in the top 10 is the Geely-Kandi EK-2 / Panda, which had only 200 sales in July after a 6 month break for updates without sales at all. It's not in the 2016-H1 listing either, for that reason. Shared by Geely and Kandi, it was Chinas best selling EV in 2015.

As for most months, no import or J/V brands are in the top-10 for July, Tesla came in on place 14 with 850 sales.

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