China exported 310,000 new energy vehicles, or NEVs, in 2021, a 300% increase from 2020, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Wednesday.
Half of the 310,000 vehicles that were exported from China last year were assembled in Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai. These cars were delivered to more than ten countries and regions in Europe and Asia.
Europe has become the main export destination of China-made NEVs. Tesla’s Model 3 was the most popular option, which sold 83,664 units to overseas customers in the first eight months of 2021, accounting for 70% of the export sales in that period, the CAAM’s data showed.
Dacia Spring Electric, an affordable electric car model jointly manufactured by Renault and Dongfeng, sold 17,398 units in the first eight months of 2021. It was the second most popular model exported from China.
Chinese brands such as SAIC Motor and BYD were the major homegrown exporters. Meanwhile, premium electric car makers Nio and Xpeng are both planning to establish a stronger presence in Europe, specifically Norway and Germany.
Domestically, NEV sales in China surged 160% to reach 3.4 million units in 2021, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
In 2021, NEVs accounted for 15% of passenger car sales in China, after more than three years of hovering at around 5%. The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) aims to lift the number to 20% by 2025, it said in a development plan published in 2020.