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People visit the booth of Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show on April 20, 2021. Photo:

Nio, XPeng and Li Auto reported healthy sales of electric cars in June as they emerge from Covid-19-induced disruption

  • XPeng delivered15,295 cars in June, compared with 12,961 units at Nio and 13,024 at Li Auto
  • Li Auto said it had received 30,000 orders as of June 24 for the full-size SUV L9, with which will be delivered to customers from August

China’s smart electric vehicle (EV) start-ups reported a sharp rise in deliveries last month, indicating that mainland customers’ demand for high-end battery-powered cars remains strong.

Nio, XPeng and Li Auto, the three Chinese rivals to Tesla on the mainland, having recovered from Covid-related supply chain disruptions, are revving up development and production of new models to lure more young Chinese drivers.

“The Chinese smart EV builders, banking on their better understanding of local consumers’ tastes and demand, are betting on new models to vie for a bigger slice of the pie,” said Chen Jinzhu, the chief executive of Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service, a consultancy. “Overall sales are expected to bounce back in the second half of this year and the Chinese start-ups will do their best to assemble and deliver more vehicles.”

Guangzhou-based XPeng outshone its two domestic rivals, delivering 15,295 vehicles in June, up 51 per cent from a month earlier.


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Shanghai-headquartered Nio delivered 12,961 units, a jump of 84.5 per cent month on month, while Beijing-based Li Auto handed over 13,024 vehicles, a growth of 13.3 per cent.

Tesla does not publish monthly delivery data for its operations in China.

In May, its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai produced 32,165 vehicles, 69.5 per cent of which were exported overseas, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association.

All the smart EV makers whose vehicles feature autonomous driving technology and sophisticated in-car entertainment systems successfully restored supply chain that was strained by China’s harsh preventive measures to contain the Omicron variant of coronavirus between March and May.

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In March, three out of every 10 new cars sold on the mainland were new-energy vehicles (NEVs) – which comprise pure electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

Analysts expect Tesla and its three Chinese rivals to accelerate production and sales in July as Shanghai, “China’s Motown”, returns to a full normality after it formally ended a two-month citywide lockdown at the end of May.

Tesla plans to double annual capacity to about 1 million units at its Shanghai factory this year, consolidating its leading position in the world’s largest EV market while exporting more Chinese-made vehicles to Germany and Japan.

Nio said sales of the ET7 luxury car rose 155 per cent month on month to 4,349 units in June. Photo: Bloomberg

XPeng said it accelerated deliveries after resuming double-shift production at its Zhaoqing plant in Guangdong since mid-May and will start taking pre-orders for its new G9 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) in August.

Li Auto said the full-size SUV L9, due to be delivered in August, has received positive feedback from users, accumulating over 30,000 orders as of June 24.

Nio’s ET7 luxury sedan, which hit the market in March, reported deliveries of 4,349 units last month, up 155 per cent from May.

The company’s mid-size car, ET5, will be delivered to customers from September.