U.S. Listed EV Startups XPeng & Li Auto Surpass Rival NIO in New Energy Vehicle Registrations for 2021 in China
【Summary】China’s “big three” New Energy Passenger Vehicle (NEPV) startups XPeng, Li Auto and NIO Inc are all gaining ground on Tesla in China. In Nov 2021 for example, Xpeng reported its second consecutive month of record electric vehicle sales, which topped 10,000 for each month. Although NIO outsold its rivals for the first eleven months of 2021, the automaker failed to hold on to its lead and finished in fourth place respectively.
China's "big three" New Energy Passenger Vehicle (NEPV) startups XPeng, Li Auto and NIO Inc are all gaining ground on Tesla in China. In Nov 2021 for example, Xpeng reported its second consecutive month of record electric vehicle sales, which topped 10,000 for each month.
In China, NEPVs are categorized as battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid and fuel cell models.
December registrations of locally-built NEPVs reached an all-time high of 481,642 units in 2021, representing a year-on-year jump of 115% as China's auto industry bounces back from the pandemic.
For December, NEPV registrations in China broken down by type include 397,716 BEVs, 83,919 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which included 17,837 range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) and seven fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).
For all of 2021, registrations of locally-made new energy passenger vehicles (NEPVs) in China reached 2,894,229 units, a 165% increase from a year ago, according to the data compiled by Gasgoo Auto Research Institute.
Now that new vehicle registrations in China have been tallied for last year, the results show that XPeng and Li Auto have surpassed rival NIO, although all three companies reported rising NEV sales throughout last year.
NIO outsold other Chinese NEV startups for the first eleven months of 2021, but failed to hold on to its lead in December.
XPeng's vehicle registrations for December totaled 16,361 units, according to data from Gasgoo. It gave XPeng the number two spot after Tesla, with registrations reaching 70,219 for the month which was a record high for the company in China. Of that amount, 40,242 were Tesla Model Ys and the rest were Model 3 sedans.
With only two models on sale in China, Tesla accounted for 14.6% of all NEPV registrations for December and 10.8% for all of 2021.
NIO's December registrations were 10,482 units respectively.
For the entire year however, NIO, XPeng and Li Auto new vehicle registrations are separated by only a few thousand units. XPeng's 2021 vehicle registration reached 96,486 taking second place, while NIO came in at 90,866 taking the fourth place spot. Li Auto finished in third place at 91,424.
Collectively, the three NEPV companies delivered 278,776 vehicles, versus Tesla's total of 311,828.
The data indicates that Tesla might soon be fighting for market share in China as competition heats up. China is the world's biggest auto market and an important one for Tesla to do well in to maintain profitability.
Going forward, perhaps Tesla's biggest competitor in China will be Xpeng. The company was founded in 2014 and set out to make fully-electric vehicles packed with technology that are more affordable. The company said it was inspired by the success of Tesla and even studied many of the automaker's open source patents when designing its electric vehicles, which cost roughly half the price for the same level of technology.
XPeng ranked highest among China's NEV startups by annual registrations with a year-on-year increase of 490% in 2021.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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