Updated: May 27, 2019
The Chinese government’s trying to play a slightly less obtrusive role in the EV industry. A growing share of passenger cars in EV sales shows that’s starting to happen. The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed that sales of passenger electric cars reached around 250,000, more than double than in the same period last year. In the first quarter of 2019, they accounted for 92% of all EV sales.
That’s sharply up from 2015, when electric passenger car sales made up a little over 50% of total EV sales, or even last year when they accounted for 80% of them, according to data from the CPCA and China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, which are both government-affiliated. The figures include battery electric and plug-in hybrids, which China calls new energy vehicles.
The rise of passenger car sales comes at a time when China wants the industry to rely more on market forces than the government. National subsidies, along with other support like government procurement, and tax exemptions and credits, could have reached as much as $60 billion from 2009 to 2017, according to one estimate. China began scaling back subsidies this year and will eventually take away all subsidies by 2020.