China's new energy vehicle (NEV) sales continued to show strong performance in August, surpassing 300,000 units for the first time in history, according to data released Friday by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

China's NEV sales in August were 321,000 units, up 181.9 percent from a year ago and 18.6 percent from July, the data showed.

China's NEV sales exceed 300,000 units for first time in Aug, CAAM data show-CnEVPost

(Data: China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Graphic: CnEVPost)

Among them, new energy passenger car sales in August were 307,000 units, up 193 percent from a year ago and 19.8 percent from July.

Pure electric passenger car sales in August were 251,000 units, an increase of 198.2 percent over the same period last year, up 21.8 percent from July. Sales of plug-in hybrid passenger cars were 56,000 units, up 171.7 percent year-on-year and 11.7 percent from July.

New energy commercial vehicle sales for the month were 14,000 units, up 55.8 percent year-on-year, including 14,000 pure electric commercial vehicles and 200 plug-in hybrids.

China's NEV production in August was 309,000 units, up 180.6 percent year-on-year, the data showed.

From January to August, China's NEV sales were 1.799 million units, up 194 percent year-on-year. Among them, 1.704 million new energy passenger vehicles were sold and 95,000 new energy commercial vehicles were sold.

China's auto exports in August were a record 187,000 units, up 161.9 percent year-on-year. Among them, 46,000 NEVs were exported, up 767 percent year-on-year.

China's all-vehicle sales fell 17.8 percent to 1.799 million units in August, down 3.5 percent from July, and production fell 18.7 percent to 1.725 million units in August, down 7.4 percent from July.

The CAAM said that supply chain risks due to the impact of Covid-19 in China and Malaysia have led to increased pressure on car companies to reduce production. In addition, production and sales volatility is also related to a higher base in the same period last year.

While chip shortages significantly impacted companies' production plans, cumulative automotive production and sales still increased slightly compared to the same period in 2019, the CAAM noted.

The performance of NEVs continued to be a bright spot in August, as production and sales continued to set new records, both exceeding 300,000 units for the first time, the CAAM said.

NEV penetration increased to a level of nearly 11 percent from January to August, the CAAM said.

In August, China's power battery installed base was 12.6 GWh, up 144.9 percent year-on-year and 11.2 percent from July.

The installed base of ternary batteries was 5.3 GWh, up 51.9 percent year-on-year and down 2.1 percent from July. Lithium iron phosphate battery installed volume was 7.2 GWh, up 361.8 percent year-on-year and 24.4 percent from July.

Analysts expect chip shortage to improve later this month