The Shanghai auto show at the end of last month, dubbed by many as the "Shanghai Electric Car Show," showed how hot the electric car industry is growing in China. In an article Wednesday, state-owned media outlet People's Daily summed up their feelings about the show.
Commentary from state-owned media is highly watched in China because they often imply policy signals and are an important reference for investors looking at industry trends.
In the article, the People's Daily said that at this year's Shanghai auto show, for the first time, smart electric cars are no longer just a concept, but perceptible mass-produced products.
At this year's Shanghai auto show, almost all foreign and Chinese brand car companies launched mass-produced smart electric vehicles, and more than 20 new smart electric vehicle brands, including Zeekr, Voyah, IM Motors, Hengchi, HiPhi, and R bran, took the stage with their main models that will be launched this year and next year, the article wrote.
Huawei, DJI, Horizon Robotics, BlackSesame, and nearly 100 other companies in the chip, radar, advanced driver assistance systems, autonomous driving solutions, connected vehicles, and high precision mapping industries are also launching mass production products and solutions, the article mentions.
"At this momentum, it is possible for China's new energy vehicle sales to break through 2 million units this year, or even exceed 2.5 million units." More than one industry expert expressed optimism about the new energy vehicle market at the Shanghai auto show site, the report said.
Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers shows that in the first quarter of this year, China's new energy vehicle sales reached 515,000 units, up 2.8 times year-on-year. Among them, 433,000 pure electric vehicles were sold, up 3.1 times year on year.
The good performance in the first quarter shows that China's electric vehicle industry has made the initial transition from policy-driven to market-driven, the report quoted Voyah Chief Brand Officer Lei Xin as saying, adding that this has laid the foundation for the development of smart electric vehicles.
The report mentioned that in the first quarter, Nio, Xpeng Motors and Li Auto sales grew by 423 percent, 487 percent and 334.4 percent year-on-year, respectively, with Nio being the first to cross the threshold of 100,000 cumulative production units.
"This is the blue ocean of the market, and there is a lot of space," Yang Xiaodong, vice president of SAIC Group and general manager of Passenger Car Company, said optimistically, according to the report.
"Passenger cars priced above RMB 200,000 ($31,100) and below RMB 500,000 are sold in the Chinese market at 5-6 million units per year, the vast majority of which are conventional vehicles, many of which will be gradually replaced by smart electric vehicles," Yang said.