China is expected to own the most vehicles globally by the end of this year with 300 to 350 automobiles per 1,000 people, Fu Bingfeng, executive vice-president of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said at an automobile forum in Shanghai on Sunday.
China's vehicles totaled 275 million on roads as of September this year, according to data from the Ministry of Public Security, and Fu added the figure matched that of the US.
Although the COVID-19 outbreak struck the Chinese auto industry hard in the first few months of 2020, the market has witnessed rapid recovery and annual sales are likely to reach 30 to 35 million in the near future.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, approved a new development plan for the NEV industry from 2021 to 2035 on Nov 2, and NEV is believed to be a key driver in Chinese vehicle sales growth.
According to the plan, the nation's NEV sales are expected to account for 20 percent of overall new car sales by 2025, and purely electric automobiles are set to become the majority of new cars by 2035.
"About 5 million new energy vehicles are likely to be sold in China in 2025", said Shen Hui, founder and CEO of VM Motor, a Chinese electric car startup, at the automobile forum in Shanghai.
From January to November this year, vehicle sales dropped 2.9 percent year-on-year to 22.47 million units, while NEVs saw sales volume increase to 1.11 million, a 3.9 percent rise from a year earlier, according to CAAM.
In terms of passenger vehicles, 2.08 million units were registered as selling in November, up 8 percent compared to last year.
Notably, the new energy passenger vehicles market boomed, with wholesale volume hitting 180,000 units in November, increasing 128.6 percent year-on-year. About 169,000 vehicles were sold through retail channels last month, which expanded 136.5 percent from the previous year, the China Passenger Car Association said.
The development of "new infrastructure", such as charging pile construction and 5G, will continue to boost the growth of new energy vehicles in China.
Shen Hui also said "intelligentializing" will be the core battlefield for NEV companies. The penetration rate of new smart NEV vehicles is 51.6 percent in 2020, and expected to reach 100 percent in 2029, Shen noted.