Nine trends in the development of China’s electric passenger car market


Now that China is more than a decade into its electric vehicle (EV) development journey, this paper identifies and discusses nine trends in China’s electric passenger car market. The focus is on major achievements and current challenges, and the data show that China has become the world’s largest EV producer, EV consumer, and EV battery producer. Additionally, through continuous policy efforts, the country has improved the fleet-average technical performance of new battery electric vehicles, including their range, battery capacity, and battery energy density. Indeed, because China’s fleet-average electricity consumption of new battery electric vehicles already reached 12.1 kWh/100 km in 2021, the goal of 12.0 kWh/100 km that was set for 2025 seems conservative.

Continued success in vehicle manufacturing will require secure supply chains for raw materials for batteries and other components. As shown in the figure below, in 2021, the majority of batteries and electric motors in electric passenger cars produced and sold in China were also made in China, but less than 35% of insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules used in the cars were made domestically that year.

illustrated figure shows batteries, electric motors, and onboard IGBT, each shaded to show what percentage was made in China in 2021.

Figure. Brand origin of onboard batteries and electric motors of electric passenger cars sold in China in 2021.

Zero-emission vehicles