Leading new energy vehicle city markets in China: A 2021 update

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the automotive market in 2021, sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, when they reached 3.5 million. That is more than all battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric passenger vehicles sold globally in 2020. Additionally, the top 30 Chinese cities with the most NEV deployment in 2021 were 62% of the national total, 7% lower than the share of the top 30 cities in 2020. This implies that NEV markets developed more evenly among big and smaller cities.

The authors identified the top city markets for new energy passenger cars (NEPCs) and commercial vehicles (NECVs), and the figure below shows the leaders in the NECV market. Seven cities had more than 6,000 new NECV registrations in 2021 and 19 cities had a market share above 5%. Shanghai replaced Shenzhen to become the largest NECV city market in terms of new registrations and market penetration. The briefing also assesses NEPC and NECV markets by city class and vehicle sub-category, and analyzes their different market features and the driving forces behind NEV uptake.

bar chart showing absolute number of registrations on the left-side y-axis and market share percentage on the right-side y-axis

Figure. New energy commercial vehicle registrations and market penetration in leading cities, 2021. *Denotes cities that were new members of the top 20 list in 2021.