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China's new energy vehicle sales surge in May

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-13 09:39

BEIJING - Both production and sales in new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China soared in May despite a cut in government subsidies, while the growth of the overall auto market remained tepid, industry data showed.

A total of 45,000 NEVs were sold in May, up 28.4 percent year on year while 51,000 NEVs were produced, up 38.2 percent year on year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed Monday.

Total auto sales remained stable, with 2.1 million vehicles sold in May, up 0.6 percent compared with that in April. The number declined 0.1 percent year on year.

Total auto production stood at 2.09 million in May, down 2.4 percent from that in April and up 0.7 percent on a year-on-year basis.

China's NEV market has been growing rapidly thanks to government support. Central and local officials have rolled out policies including offering subsidies and encouraging the construction of charging stations.

Local automakers including BYD and BAIC Motor Corporation have received a boost in sales, rivaling international competitors such as Tesla in the world's largest auto market.

The sales data in May came despite a cut in government subsidies this year, as officials vowed to support vehicles of higher quality and with longer driving ranges.

Subsidies for NEVs at both local and central levels will be capped, while the amount will be gradually lowered by 2020, according to an official statement.

China sold 507,000 NEVs last year, the most in the world for a second year and up 53 percent from 2015, CAAM data showed.

According to an official plan on auto industry development, China will see NEV output and sales hit 2 million annually by 2020, about four times the current level.

There should be several Chinese NEV firms that are strong enough to rank among the world top 10 by 2020, and their global influence should further increase by 2025, according to the plan.

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