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Shanghai's NEV registrations hit new high in 2018
New energy vehicle (NEV) ownership has hit a new high in Shanghai, a city that has been leading China's NEV charge since 2014. According to data released by the Shanghai Electric Vehicle Public Data Collecting, Monitoring and Research Centre, a non-governmental organisation established with the support of local economic planning authorities, a total of 237,253 subsidised NEVs were registered with the centre in Shanghai by the end of 2018. Of these, a total of 217,971 NEVs were passenger vehicles, representing 92% of the total. In 2018 alone, new NEV registrations in the city hit 73,185 units, up 19% on the previous year. The data released by the centre primarily includes NEVs that received local government subsidies. A limited number of manufacturers, mainly luxury car makers, chose not to register their NEVs with the centre; therefore, the data provided by the centre may not tally with total insurance registrations. However, the data do reflect the general picture of NEV adoption in the city as it covers 661 models introduced by over 380 automakers.
Data broken down by vehicle type further indicate the high popularity of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in Shanghai. A total of 162,953 passenger PHEVs were registered with the data centre from 2013 to 2018, accounting for over 68% of the total NEV parc, while passenger battery electric vehicles (BEVs) reached 54,937 units, accounting for 23% of the total. By contrast, BEVs have higher adoption in the commercial sector, accounting for over 92% of the total number of commercial NEVs. Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) only account for a small percentage of NEV registrations, with only 626 FCVs registered in the city at end-2018.
Outlook and implications:
China's total NEV ownership reached over 2.61 million units in 2018, according to statistics from China's Transportation Bureau, up 70% over 2017. We expect the size of the NEV market to continue to grow this year, with annual sales climbing over 1.6 million units. Despite strong market headwinds, China's NEV market, a category comprising battery electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and FCVs, continued to expand at a double-digit rate during 2018. Sales of NEVs increased by 61.7% to 1.256 million units during 2018.
Shanghai currently has been leading the promotion and adoption of electrified vehicles among China's mega-cities. The city represents a good example of how preferential policies can help shape the NEV market. The city has set a cap on its licence plates given to new vehicles since the early 1990s in an effort to ease traffic congestion. On average, in 2018, the monthly quota set was around 100,000 vehicles. The complicated licence quota bidding system makes it extremely difficult for consumers to obtain licences at their desired time. Frustrated consumers eager to buy new cars, therefore, start shopping among NEVs, which are eligible for free licence plates, a preferential tax rate, and generous subsidies. Such policies have pushed up demand for electrified models in Shanghai, for PHEVs in particular. The number of subsidised NEVs surged from 11,271 vehicles in 2014 to 61,345 vehicles in 2017. By 2018, the total number of these NEVs in the city reached over 237,000 vehicles, with private purchases accounting largely for the surge.
Written by Abby Chun Tu
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