Thursday, December 24, 2020

China November 2020

Record Month

If the overall Chinese market is slowly picking up (+12% YoY), plugins are already on the fast lane, growing by 138% YoY in November, to a record 198,000 units, and this time PHEVs grew faster (+164%), than BEVs (+134%), but despite this uptick from plugin hybrids, BEVs still own 80% of the market.

Last month, plugin share reached a record 8.6% (7.2% BEV), pulling the 2020 share to 5.9% (4.7% BEV), a half percent increase that has finally pulled over the 2019 result of 5.5%, and with December set to establish yet another record score, expect the final PEV share to end North of the 6% mark, but this is only the beginning, as next year we should see a few two digit monthly shares, preparing the disruption to finally set in by 2022...In the largest automotive market in the World.

And once we get to that point, then it's time over for ICE.

Looking at November Best Sellers, we have 3 City EVs, confirming the return of small EVs to the spotlight, with the Wuling EV keeping the Best Seller status.

Here’s November Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:


#1 – Wuling HongGuang Mini EV

 A big name for a small car, the Wuling EV scored 33,094 units last month, its 5th record score in a row, meaning that the production ramp up is continuing, and expect the tiny four-seater to grow even further next month. The reason for this tremendous success? It is one of the cheapest EVs on the market ($4,200!!!), and yet, it’s not all that bad, as the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint-venture model can seat 4 people in car that is a tad larger (2,917 mm / 114.8 in) than a Smart Fortwo EV. Range is not brilliant (smaller battery version has 9.2 kWh battery, top spec version has a 13.8 kWh battery), just like the motor (27hp), but it has only 665 kg curb weight to carry around and is highway capable, so in order to have the 4,200 USD price, without subsidies, one can’t expect miracles... At this price level, the Wuling EV is a disruptive force in urban mobility, not only against 4-wheeled private transportation, but also against 2 and 3-wheelers. This EV is becoming a game changer in China, and should do the same elsewhere, if (when?) it manages to expand to overseas markets.


#2 – Tesla Model 3

The poster child for electric mobility hit a record 21,606 units last month, with Tesla’s midsizer now being almost exclusively made locally, only 2 units came from Freemont, and with December being usually the highest peak in this market, will we see it reach some 25,000 units in December? Looking at next year sales performance, expect it to build on the current numbers, growing moderately, because despite the internal competition of the new MiC Model Y, China's mainstream market is still very much a sedan-friendly market, so its higher riding sibling will have less impact here, than in SUV-crazed USA, or hatchback-friendly Europe,  where the Model Y's hatchback-desguised as SUV form will help it thrive.


 #3 – Great Wall ORA Black Cat (R1)

Probably inspired by Deng Xiaoping famous quote: "It doesn't matter wether a cat is black or white, as long as it catched mice",  Great Wall decided to create a Cat Pack, transforming its tiny R1 Smart-lookalike into the Black Cat, launching the R2 model (think Scion XB/Toyota Urban Cruiser kind of vehicle) as the White Cat, and to lead the Pack, Great Wall is launching of the Good Cat, a chunky (and funky) compact hatchback (VW Golf sized) that kinda looks like a Porsche 356 in the front, a Toyota from the side, and the back...Well, it’s its own thing. But enough of the Good Cat, we are here to talk about the Black Cat, that delivered 9,463 units in November, it's 2nd record score in a row, so the new name is allowing a second youth to the small EV. So for December, will it get...10,000 mice deliveries?

#4 – BYD Han EV

BYD's flagship model was 4th in November, having registered 7,842 units, its 4th record performance in a row, so it looks the production ramp up is still happening, and demand willing, the Han EV should score its first five-digit score next month. One of the most competitive domestic EVs on the market, the flagship BYD is becoming a regular in this Top 5, thanks to competitive pricing, it's the size of a Model S, and yet it costs only $32,800, less than the cheaper Model 3. But price doesn't tell the whole story, with a cutting edge 77 kWh LFP battery allowing it to reach 605 km (376 miles) NEDC range (think 400 km / 250 miles in real world), the Han EV is a whole package, with good looks, competitive specs and features, with the killer prices being just the icing on the cake.

#5 – SAIC Baojun E-Series

Compared with the bare basics Wuling EV, the Baojun E-Series (E100/200/300) are the SGMW more hip and upmarket city models, with demand hitting record levels, with 7,842 units being delivered in November. The access to the current subsidy, added to competitive pricing (CNY 93,900 / USD 14,700) before subsidies, makes them appealing for young urban drivers, as well as car-sharing companies and other fleets. 

Looking at the remaining Best Sellers table in November, in a record month, several models hit best ever scores, like the Li Xiang One, that with 4,646 units, was last month Best Selling PHEV, consolidating its status as the Best Selling Large SUV and the most successful model coming from a local EV startup.

Speaking of local startups, the Welmeister EX5 hit another record month (3,018 units), while BYD had 3 models with record scores, besides the aforementioned Han EV, its plugin hybrid twin, the Han PHEV (2,623) continued its record streak, with the two models clocking 10,105 units if added together, while the compact BYD e2 also reached a record performance, its second in a row, with 2,670 units, with these performances confirming the return to form from the Shenzhen maker.

A final reference to the surprise appearance of FAW's baby Hongqi, the E-HS3, in #19, with the Premium brand's compact SUV scoring a record performance of 2,552 units, which could be a good sign for the upcoming full-size yacht SUV, the Hongqi E-HS9.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, if the Model 3 is the 2020 undisputed leader, but below it, the Wuling Mini EV is already preparing next year's assault to the Best Selling EV title in China.

This highlights the latest trend in China, City EVs are returning to the spotlight, not only with the Wuling EV, but also the Great Wall Ora Black Cat, that jumped two spots, to #4, not forgetting the #5 Baojun E-Series and the #7 Chery eQ, thus making 4 City EVs in the Top 7.   

But it weren’t only City EVs rising in the table, as the local EV startups continue climbing positions, with the Li Xiang One rising to #8, securing the Best Selling PHEV spot in the table, while the Best Selling Full Size model title is almost in the bag, as the BYD Han EV is 7,000 units behind, and speaking of the flagship BYD, the big electric sedan was the Climber of the Month, jumping from #18 to #12, as it prepares to storm through the Top 10 in the last month of the year.

The much hyped XPeng P7 also had reasons to celebrate, as the sedan climbed to #19, while the relifted Changan Eado EV joined the table, in #20.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, the SGMW joint-venture (15%) jumped to the leadership, surpassing BYD (also 15%) and #2 Tesla (12%), all at once, mostly thanks to the disruptive force of the Wuling Mini EV.

Below the podium, the race is tight, SAIC (6%, down 1% share) is 4th, followed by the #5 GAC (5%, down 1%), and #6 Volkswagen (also 5%).


  1. Alright, 2021 bestseller contenders in my eyes

    1. Wuling Mini

    The cats (I think the Good Cat looks actually great!), VW ID.4, BYD Han, Tesla M3

    Any great models I am missing that should be launched in larger volumes in 2021?

    1. Model Y

    2. I would be very surprised if the Model Y could outsell the Model 3 in China, Chinese still prefer sedans.

      But for #1, i would bet on the Wuling Mini EV

    3. Crossovers outsell cars in China & USA. Even in cars, there are quite a lot of hatches/wagon. All that automakers are going to do raise the height of wagons to 1.500 mm and call it a crossover. Of course Wuling MiniEV with 3 doors is still a car. I wish they launch another model that is slightly longer and has 5 doors.

      So sedans are on the way out.

    4. @José Tesla seems to think otherwise, going by the production capacity they are building for Model Y in Shanghai...

    5. @Famlin - I guess we will have to wait, but for now, i'll stick to my guns.

      @Antrik - Well, Tesla is entitled to think whatever it wants, and i also have the right to disagree, right? That's how democracies work...

    6. LOL... Of course you are entitled to think what you want -- as I am entitled to point out potential flaws in your assumptions :-P

      While Tesla isn't omniscient, they probably have a better insight into the market than we do... Plus, there was a recent report from a local analyst that predicted much bigger potential for the Model Y. (Once cheaper variants are available...) And let's not forget that Tesla has pricing power to bring demand in line with their current production capacity to a certain degree...

    7. @José according to , a major reason why sedans are popular compared to SUV in China is tax policy -- which doesn't apply to EVs... In other words, Model Y should indeed easily outsell Model 3 in China. (Just like Model X easily outsells Model S...)

  2. The Wuling HongGuang Mini EV only started production in June. It took less than 6 months for it to double #3's sales from 11 months, and it has nearly caught up to to the Model 3's sales from these past 11 months.

    If it maintains this pace, it could be the first PEV to hit 400K sales in a single year in 2021 (I expect Model 3 to land somewhere around 390K this year... not quite 400K.)

    1. Wuling HongGuang Mini EV seems to be a revolution. If they can offer a 200 km, 300 km, 400 km and a 500 km versions, it could be picked up by different customers for different needs. It could challenge all 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers & 4-wheelers. A wonderful 2+2 seater for small families.

    2. A 500 km battery for the Wuling Mini would weigh about as much as the entire car, cost more than the entire car, and take up like half the cabin...

    3. Wuling MiniEV weighs 571 kg without battery. Its 14,7 KWh battery weighs 134 kg and goes 170 km NEDC. For 500 km range (NEDC), it will take 43,2 KWh battery add another 2,8 KWh for the extra battery weight and thats 46 KWh battery. At current average battery price of $137 / KWh, it will cost $6.302. However the LFP battery that is used there and bought in high volume may cost only $100 / KWh which means $4.600. It doubles the price, yes, but those who use it for business or taxis or travel longer frequently may still buy it even it costs $9.000. After all electric cars are much smoother and should drive as good as those cars in $15.000 range and will fetch the return from Day-1. Baojun E300 had 305 km (NEDC) and costs around $10.000.
      Just count the months and it will be in.

    4. Given the significant weight penalty, it would likely take more like 50 kWh to get 500 km... But of course that's purely hypothetical, since there is no way they could fit such a battery.

      LOL... Using this cramped sardine can for business or longer travel, or -- best of all -- a taxi? Do you seriously not realise how ridiculously absurd this suggestion is?...

    5. Smart For-2, Fiat 500, mini (kei) cars in Japan: There are millions of sardine cans rolling in the World with 500 km range. Add another 100 km if its diesel powered. I prefer all cars with 5 door and seating for 4. But some with family of just 1 or 2 prefer such small cars.
      Whats wrong if electric cars also join that bandwagon with 500 km range.

      Baojun E300 already has 300 km range, I guess they may E500 soon and so does the Wuling MiniEV.

    6. Your hypothesising ignores physical realities: there is no way they can just snap their fingers and increase battery density by 60% (for the Baojun) or 200% (for the Wuling). The Wuling could gain some 40 - 50% by switching to a more expensive nickel-based battery -- but that's the limit. Significantly higher density batteries won't hit the mainstream for at least half a decade; and batteries with densities to give the Wuling a 500 km range probably not within a decade.

    7. I can promise you that no family ever *prefers* such a tiny car. Some hip singles, sure: but not families. The *only* reason why a family ever buys such a car is if it's extremely affordable. Which the Wuling would no longer be with a 500 km battery -- if it was even technically possible to give it such...

      (And you are also ignoring that there isn't even much point in giving it such a range, since with a 100 km/h top speed, it would be very painful for inter-city travel anyway... Not to mention crash safety.)

  3. @José the Black Cat belongs in #6 in the YTD table...

  4. 198.066 is a massive #. Congratulations.
    BEVs take Top-7 and 16 out of Top-20

    Nice to see 2 vehicles (MiniEV & Model 3) hitting 5 digit sales.
    From a near collapse in Feb to splendid recovery is great.
    At the end of 2019-11, they had 1,041,237 sales.
    At the end of 2020-11, they had 1,043,326 sales.
    Just a slight improvement, but this happened despite a drastic cut in subsidy and range increase to qualify.
    2020-12 sales should be much higher.
    With market in high gear, they can cut the subsidies by another 50% and let the PEVs stand on their own.

    Meanwhile VW ends production of e-Golf, nearly 150.000 sold.

    1. Way too early for another massive subsidy cut, if they want the market to grow rather than shrink...

    2. I believe cars > 400 km range gets $3.200 subsidy and a 50% subsidy cut will reduce by $1.600.
      Cars > 400 km range costs > $20.000 there and an extra $1.600 is not going to impact much. May be sales goes down by 20%, but will come back more robustly in 3 months and there will be more confidence that BEVs sells with very little subsidies. And by end of 2021, they can cut even the other 50%. By end of 2022, average worldwide battery prices will hit $100 / KWh mark and this will happen in China much earlier especially for LFP battery.

  5. If the global PEV sales are crusing towards 400.000 mark and china sold 198.066 PEVs, then its around 50% share.
    With 60% share of global steel output, 80% share of global battery output, and battery prices going down from $1,100 / KWh (2010) to $157 / KWh (2019) and $137 / KWh at end of 2020, they could pump more PEVs and gain a 50% share in global automotive market.

    Time for all automakers to take the competition seriously and ramp up their PEV sales.

  6. Just FYI: Only 19% of the electricity in USA came from Coal in 2020-10 while 13,5% came from renewable excluding hydro and this sector is growing by leaps and bounds. I am sure the same is happening in Europe & China as well. So the PEV being coal fired argument is slowly fading and the renewable powered is increasing. Natgas is certainly cleaner than oil. Ultimately Coal and Oil are getting pummeled by many cleaner sources including nuclear which is growing rapidly in China to power the PEVs.

    1. Wind+solar is growing much faster than nuclear, even in China.

      (As it should: since not only does nuclear come with undeniable issues, but it's simply more expensive; and takes way longer to build...)

    2. Nuclear runs @ 92% capacity factor which means it runs for 8060 out of 8760 hours / year. Ideal for plugin vehicles which charges at night when electricity consumption is lowest because of lights and other equipments being off in homes, stores, offices.
      Wind hits 40% while solar has 20% and hydro reduces when dams run out of water.
      Remember, 75% of worlds energy is controlled by fossil fuels and we have to include nuclear in the mix to reduce fossil fuels as fast as possible. When the plugin sales increases, Germany & Italy will turn the nuclear on again.
      With 1 standardized design, China, Russia, India are building many nuclear plants.

    3. Capacity factor means shit when solar and wind, even with batteries, are still cheaper to cover the same electricity needs. And there is plenty of wind and sun to cover all electricity needs many times over. Nuclear is dead -- the lobbyists and shills just can't admit to it...

    4. As you are speaking, 75% of the worlds energy comes from fossil fuels which spews out so much CO2, CH4 and other toxic substances which are much more poisonous than any shit (human / animal).
      How long do you want this to continue until renewables reach 100%.
      Add 4.5 MW of solar capacity for every 1 MW of nuclear capacity + battery + computers to control all those and the cost will exceed nuclear. I support renewable, but only at expense of fossil and not nuclear.
      As we speak, many nuclear reactors are under construction.

      BTW, you better be more respectful in writing. Because you live in Germany does not make you a very smart person. Germans are still burning lots of coal.

    5. Wrong. New wind an solar are *much* cheaper than nuclear -- per unit of energy generated, not just per unit of peak capacity. That's a fact. Look it up if you don't believe me.

      Yes, we need to get rid of fossils as soon as possible. No, that doesn't require nuclear. There is absolutely no reason to build new nuclear instead of building more renewables. It just costs more and takes a lot longer.

      And talking about "respect", please leave my place of residence out of it. I'm a smart person no matter where I live. I'm not responsible for the corrupt government catering to fossil interests. I didn't vote for them.

    6. u r thinking about the $8 / watt reactor built in Britain. So sad, brits were fooled by chinese/french consortium or probably strong pound to blame.
      Chinas hualong-1 standardized reactor built in china, pakistan, indonesia costs $2,5 / watt while the russian reactors built in turkey, bangladesh costs $4,5 / watt. On this basis, nuclear is still cheaper and can take the place of baseload, while renewable can provide peak load and in smaller cities.

      Lets get rid of fossil fuels as early as possible.

    7. I bet you these prices don't cover all costs of developing, projecting, safely operating, and decommissioning these plants... Nuclear lobbyists always conveniently "forget" about these. Not to mention insurance: if nuclear plants were actually insured privately to cover the worst case, instead of offloading responsibility on society at large, it would be impossible to build any nuclear plants ever.

      (And even if these prices were real, they still wouldn't undercut renewables, except *maybe* for the Chinese ones -- for now. By the time any new reactor would actually be finished building, renewables will have at least halved in costs again.)

      And BTW, "baseload" is obsolete. It's useless in a grid with intermittent generation. Only dispatchable sources complement intermittent ones -- and nuclear is the exact opposite of dispatchable.