In terms of retail sales, China's NEV penetration rate is expected to be about 31.8 percent in December, lower than the 32.3 percent in November.

China's December retail sales of new energy passenger vehicles are expected to be around 700,000 units, a record high, according to estimates released today by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

That's up 47.4 percent from 475,000 units in the same month last year and up about 17 percent from 598,000 units in November.

For the passenger car market as a whole, retail sales for December are expected to be 2.2 million units, up 4.5 percent from a year ago, according to the CPCA.

This means that in terms of retail sales, the penetration of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China is expected to be about 31.8 percent in December, lower than the 32.3 percent in November.

Since December, China's Covid outbreak prevention and control measures have undergone a huge adjustment, with relaxed controls and a rapid backfill of pent-up demand in the car market, the CPCA said.

Average daily retail sales for major car companies were down 24 percent year-on-year in the first week of December, but up 5 percent and 18 percent year-on-year in the second and third weeks, respectively.

Near the end of the year, the Chinese auto market maintained a fast delivery pace as the purchase tax incentives for internal combustion engine vehicles and new energy subsidies are set to expire, the CPCA said, adding that the fourth week of December will continue the growth trend of the third week.

However, given the onset of peak Covid infection in various cities, consumer behavior is cautious, with fewer gatherings and trips, the CPCA said.

These could lead to a dampened tailwind for the Chinese auto market at the end of the year, with average daily retail sales in the fifth week expected to be unchanged from a year ago, the CPCA added.

Demand in China's NEV market is relatively firm, and the impending withdrawal of NEV subsidies will still drive early buying behavior by some consumers, according to the CPCA.

In response to the subsidy withdrawal, NEV makers have introduced measures, with and announcing price increases smaller than the amount of subsidies that will be withdrawn, laying a good foundation for next year's order collection, the CPCA said.

To view past monthly sales data for the China NEV market, click here.