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China to sell 200,000 EVs in coming few years

Date:2009-07-03

Global business consulting firm Bain & Company has recently published an electric vehicle (EV) survey report, which estimates that electric vehicles' sales will hit 1.5 million units worldwide in the coming few years, with almost 200,000 units in China, making it the world's largest EV market, sohu.com said.

Domestic and global automakers are scrambling to launch new electric vehicles in China. Chery Auto has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid the S18, while BYD Auto, backed by billionaire Warren Buffet, plans to launch an all-electric crossover, the e6 in the next few months.

Global majors such as BMW, Daimler, Nissan and Toyota have also announced their intention to enter the field. Judging by the media announcements, by next year, there will be one new electric-vehicle model launched in China, every month. Competition will be intense in China's EV market.

The Chinese government plans to have nearly 10,000 hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles on the road by 2010. The country's largest electric power company, the State Grid Corp of China, is setting up charging stations in larger cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

According to Bain's recent survey of 500 car owners in China's large cities, budget-conscious "cost shoppers" are the major segment (60%). This compares with the mature car markets in Europe, America, Japan, and S. Korea, where affluent customers constitute the majority (55% on average).

Bain also found that the price likely to attract the most cost-shoppers in China is 100,000 yuan ($14,700): at that price, annual sales of up to 200,000 electric vehicles are possible over time.

"China is already the largest passenger car market in the world, ... and our study shows China will also be one of the largest global markets for electric vehicles," said Raymond Tsang, a Bain partner based in Shanghai and a co-author of the study.

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