China × Cleantech — March 2021

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Welcome to China × Cleantech — March 2021 edition. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month.

EV Sales

Tesla Model Y Ramps Up In China, $4400 Wuling EV Still #1

On the 18th of March, José Pontes reported on the sales numbers of the Chinese EV market in February of 2021. It was a great month, with 104,000 registrations, a significant increase compared to February 2019’s 41,000 registrations and a whopping 6-fold increase year on year (YoY). Of course, last year’s figures were strongly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, plug-in vehicle (PEV) sales made up 9% market share (7.5% full electric/BEV), which shifts the yearly average plug-in vehicle market share to 8.7% (7.3 BEV). José Pontes noted that January and February numbers are on average weaker months for car sales, so we will probably see plug-in vehicle market share go above 10% this year.

The Wuling HongGuang Mini EV was the best selling EV in January, with 20,167 registrations, which ended its growth streak but is still a great result. It was followed by the Tesla Model 3, which had 13,688 sales.

José reiterated the trend that the top 5 best selling new energy vehicles are quite diverse. The list includes two city EVs, two midsized sedans, and a full size sedan. The Tesla Model Y production ramp can be seen in its registration growth, but its market segment as well as Model 3 similarities indicate that it has lots of growth potential.


Tesla China Reaches Another Milestone: 6,000 Supercharger Installations

On the 7th of March, Johnna Crider reported that Tesla China has reached another milestone — 6,000 Supercharger installations. These stations can provide 200 miles of range in 15 minutes, which is useful since the Tesla network of superchargers has to meet the fast increasing number of Tesla vehicles on Chinese roads.

Tesla Stock Rebounds With Positive Year-Over-Year Sales Report Out Of China

On the 9th of March, Carolyn Fortuna reported that Tesla’s stock rebounded on news of Tesla’s strongly positive year-over-year (YoY) sales report from China. The report from the China Passenger Car Association in February showed that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) delivered 18,300+ vehicles overall in January 2021. These results led to positive stock gains.

Watch Made-In-China Tesla Model Y Race NIO ES6 & BMW IX3

On the 19th of March, Johnna Crider posted a video and breakdown of a race between a Made-In-China Tesla Model Y, a NIO ES6, and a BMW IX3. The Tesla Model Y was a long-range version of the vehicle, not the performance version.

The results were:


  • NIO ES6 — 4.33 Seconds
  • Tesla Model Y — 5.03 seconds
  • BMW iX3 — 6.54 seconds

Breaking (From 62 MPH to 0)

  • NIO ES6 — 36.36 m.
  • Tesla Model Y — 36.64 m.
  • BMW iX3 — 38.24 m.

I think these types of tests and comparisons should be conducted on all vehicles and all versions and be a valuable asset to consumers.

Tesla China May Hold Giga Shanghai Factory Tours

Image courtesy of Tesla China.

On the 18th of March, Johnna Crider reported on rumors that Tesla China might be planning to hold tours of its Gigafactory Shanghai for the public. Twitter user Ray4Tesla posted screenshots of Grace Tao, Tesla China VP, confirming the planning of such events.

Tesla Not Only American Tech Company Banned From Chinese Military Complexes, Sales Unlikely To Be Affected

On the 22nd of March, Johnna Crider discussed the matter of Tesla vehicles being banned from entering Chinese military complexes and wrote that iPhones are also banned from Chinese military complexes due to the same rationale — and that while they are banned, they can still be owned by people who work there; they just need to be parked off campus.

Other NEV News

7 Big Electric Vehicle Announcements From Volkswagen Today

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group. Image courtesy of Volkswagen AG.

On the 5th of March, Zachary Shahan reported on 7 big announcements from Volkswagen’s “Power Day” event. One of the seven announcements directly mentions China, as announcement 6 is “20,500 More Fast-Charging Ports in China, USA, & Canada ” which included a plan for 17,000 fast-charging points in China by 2025 though its joint venture CAMS (开迈斯).

The Xpeng P7 Achieves 20,000 Sales Quicker Than Any Other Vehicle From A Chinese EV Startup

Xpeng G3. Image courtesy of Xpeng.

On the 5th of March, Zachary Shahan wrote that Xpeng, which is only 7 years old, has reached 20,000 sales of the Xpeng P7 quicker than any other startup in China has ramped up production and sales to that level.

Xpeng P7. Image courtesy of Xpeng.

He added the news that Xpeng is putting lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries in its cars for the Chinese market, which is common in China, and increasingly beyond (Tesla and Volkswagen are also moving in that direction for lower-range models).

Why Did 70,000 People Buy NIO & Xpeng EVs Instead Of Teslas In China Last Year?

NIO EC6. Image courtesy of NIO.

On the 8th of March, Zachary Shahan wrote about a CNBC article asking why some Chinese buyers are buying NIO and Xpeng EVs instead of Tesla but not adequately answering the question. That inspired him to write an article with his thoughts on the topic.

Xpeng G3. Image courtesy of Xpeng.

Global China

Electric Boda-Bodas Launch: A Promising Day For Electric Transportation In East Africa

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai wrote last month about how the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is partnering with Powerhive, KPLC, Kisumu County, and the Friends of Karura Forest to pilot 99 e-motorbikes, split 50-49 between Uganda and Kenya. The program is currently the only global program that supports electric mobility for developing and transitional countries, and it supports over 50 countries.

Kenya Power’s Meter Reading & Revenue Collection Teams Adopt Electric Motorcycles

On the 4th of March, Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai wrote that Kenya’s electric utility company, Kenya Power, is also piloting electric motorbikes its fleet for its meter reading and revenue collection teams. It is part of a broader program by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the bikes are being provided by TAILG (Shenzhen Shenling Car Company Limited), a Chinese e-bike company.

Images by Remeredzai Kuhudzai

BYD Tang’s Norway Specs, Electric Trash Trucks, & Electric Bus Orders

BYD Tang EV. Image courtesy of BYD.

On the 8th of March, Zachary Shahan wrote a summary of BYD news including covering the BYD Tang EV’s specs in Norway as well as electric bus orders in Germany and Scotland and an electric trash truck order in Idaho, USA.

Electric bus. Image courtesy of BYD.
Electric trash truck. Image courtesy of BYD.

See our previous China × Cleantech reports for more info from the red giant. Subscribe to the China X Cleantech newsletter to not miss a beat.

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Tim Dixon

When not researching the Chinese electric car market, I am teaching in China. My interest in sustainable development started in University and it led me to work with Tesla Europe in the Supercharger team. I'm interested in science fiction, D&D, and travel. You can follow me on Twitter @TimDixon3.

Tim Dixon has 62 posts and counting. See all posts by Tim Dixon