Of this figure, BEVs accounted for 750,000 units in sales, a 153% growth YoY, while PHEVs accounted for 340,000 units in sales, a 128% growth YoY.
Chinese automakers collectively possessed the largest shares in the BEV market in 1Q21, and certain Chinese BEV manufacturers moved up in the rankings accordingly. Other than longstanding market leader Tesla, Chinese automakers Wuling Hongguang, BYD, and ORA occupied three of the top five spots.
In the BEV market, Tesla remained the sales leader, primarily thanks to Model 3, which surpassed Model Y by more than 50,000 units in sales despite the latter’s sales growth.
Wuling Hongguang continued to set sales records in the Chinese market with its Hongguang MINI, which retails for RMB 28,800 ($4,500). Not only was the MINI the highest-selling BEV in China in 1Q21, but Wuling Hongguang also leapfrogged to second place in the top 10 by overtaking Volkswagen and BYD, which ranked second and third in the global BEV market last year. Chinese automaker ORA ranked fifth in 1Q21 mainly thanks to the ORA R1, which is also known as the ORA Black Cat and retails for RMB 69,800 ($10,700), with a driving range of 301km. Much like the Hongguang MINI, the ORA R1 has been highly popular in its home market.
In the PHEV market, the top four spots are very occupied by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Volkswagen.
Toyota rose through the ranks and took the fifth position after it released PHEV versions of its popular RAV4 and Prius models.
Notably, Li Xiang, or Li Auto, has been gaining traction in the Chinese market. The automaker was able to break into the top 10 list of PHEV sales via only one model, the Li Xiang One, and whether it can maintain this remarkable performance going forward remains to be seen.