The years 2023-2025 for China's smart EV market will be like the last three years of World War II in history from 1943-1945, said Li Xiang.
Li Xiang, founder, chairman and CEO of Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI), predicted a month ago that China's new energy vehicle (NEV) penetration rate would reach 70 percent by the fourth quarter of 2025.
Now, perhaps fueled by optimism from the Shanghai auto show, he's making an even bolder prediction.
By December 2025, NEVs will account for more than 80 percent of all new vehicle sales in China, Li said in his WeChat status today, adding that the five permanent NEV brands will be born by then.
The years 2023-2025 for China's smart EV market will be like the last three years of World War II in history from 1943-1945, Li said.
Notably, this comes just a month after Li last made a bold prediction.
On March 25, Li said on Weibo that NEVs will contribute 70 percent of new car sales in China by the fourth quarter of 2025.
It's crossing the chasm theory that growth starts to accelerate when a new thing accounts for more than 30 percent, he said.
For the full year 2022, retail sales of new energy passenger vehicles in China were 5.67 million units, up 90 percent year-on-year, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
Retail sales of all passenger vehicles in China in 2022 were 20.54 million units, up 1.9 percent year-on-year. This represents a 27.6 percent penetration rate of new energy passenger vehicles in China in 2022.
In March, retail sales of new energy passenger vehicles in China were 543,000 units, contributing 34.2 percent of all passenger vehicle sales of 1,587,000 units.
In the past few years, annual passenger car sales in China have remained at about 20 million units per year, or about 1.67 million units per month.
If Li's latest forecast turns out to be accurate, it would mean that by December 2025, China's monthly NEV sales will exceed 1.3 million units.
Li Auto is one of the most successful EV startups in China, currently offering three models -- Li L7, Li L8 and Li L9 -- all extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs).
The company delivered 20,823 vehicles in March, the second time since last December that it has exceeded 20,000 units.
Li Auto delivered 52,584 vehicles in the first quarter, up 65.8 percent year-on-year and up 13.53 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.
On April 18, Li Auto officially unveiled its all-electric solution based on the 800 V high-voltage platform, capable of giving a battery electric vehicle (BEV) a 400 km range on a 10-minute charge.
With the release of this solution, Li Auto will officially enter a phase of parallel development of its EREV and BEV product lines. By 2025, Li Auto's product array will include one super flagship model, five EREVs, and five BEVs, it said.
By that time, Li Auto's models for the market priced above RMB 200,000 will fully meet the needs of family users, the company said.