Leading Chinese EV trio Xpeng, NIO and Li Auto post record month, triple-digit rise in November deliveries

  • The three firms’ performance shows that young drivers are increasingly keen on EVs, analyst says
  • China Passenger Car Association has forecast that NEV deliveries will top a record 2.4 million cars this year

China’s three leading electric vehicle (EV) start-ups posted a record number of deliveries for November, amid a surge in demand for premium EVs.

Guangzhou-based Xpeng Motors delivered 15,613 vehicles last month, a jump of 270 per cent from a year ago. Shanghai-headquartered NIO reported 10,878 deliveries for the month, more than doubling last year’s number, and Beijing-based Li Auto delivered 13,485 EVs, a surge of 190 per cent year on year.

The delivery of 10,000 or more cars a month is viewed as an important milestone in China, the world’s largest EV market.

“The delivery data adds to evidence that China’s EV market is now growing at a fast pace,” said Gao Shen, an independent analyst in Shanghai. “[The three EV companies’] rosy performance shows that young drivers are increasingly keen on EVs, rather than conventional cars.”

The record sales at Xpeng, NIO and Li Auto come as the use of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) – pure electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell-powered cars – soars in China amid efforts by Beijing to achieve its ambitious carbon-neutrality goal in 2060. NEV sales climbed 192 per cent to 2.14 million units in the first 10 months of this year against 1.17 million NEVs sold in the whole of 2020. They constituted 14.4 per cent of all cars sold in China this year, up from 6 per cent last year.

The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) has forecast that NEV deliveries would top 2.4 million cars this year.

November was the third consecutive month of 10,000-plus deliveries for Xpeng. The month represented a turnaround for NIO, which delivered only 3,667 cars in October. Li Auto, meanwhile, broke a record of 9,433 deliveries set in August.

These three start-ups, with their high-end EVs that come fitted with high-performance batteries, sophisticated in-car entertainment systems and driver-assistant technologies, are believed to have the potential to compete against Tesla. The US carmaker has over the past two years been a runaway leader in China’s premium EV segment.

Most of the vehicles that rolled out of Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai’s Lingang free-trade zone in October were exported, according to CPCA


Tesla does not publish monthly delivery figures for China. But, according to CPCA data, it delivered more than 56,000 vehicles in China at its peak in September, double the total deliveries by NIO, Xpeng and Li Auto.

The following month, however, of the 54,391 vehicles that rolled out of the US carmaker’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai’s Lingang free-trade zone, only 13,725 were delivered to mainland Chinese buyers, according to CPCA.

Tesla had to export most of its made-in-Shanghai vehicles in October to meet demand elsewhere, after the global chip shortage made it difficult for its other plants to sustain production, said a sales manager with Tesla, who asked not to be identified.

CPCA has not published data for Tesla for November yet.

Author: Daniel Ren, SCMP

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