Electric car startups Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng announced, in the first days of the year, new highs for the end of the year 2020.
The increase in demand reflects the global recovery of the Chinese economy and, in particular, its domestic car market. The Chinese government is showing signs of wanting to be a leader in auto electric technology and is supporting the industry with subsidies, lifting registration restrictions and building a robust charging infrastructure for these types of vehicles.
From January to November 2020, sales of 100% electric vehicles grew 4.4% over the previous year, a number that contrasts with the 7.6% decline in passenger car sales, according to the Chinese government.
The shares of the three Chinese electric vehicle startups, all listed on the New York Stock Exchange, have skyrocketed – Nio has even become one of the best-listed Chinese companies in the U.S. with the best performance in 2020 and gains in excess of 1,100%. Despite this growth, the figures presented are still a far cry from Tesla by Elon Musk, which has sold five times more cars worldwide than the total of the three Chinese startups.
Other challenges remain on the financial front, as Tesla joined the S&P 500 index in December and US policies could become a risk for Chinese companies listed on that country.
In detail, Nio’s sales more than doubled compared to 2019, now totaling 43,728 vehicles. The company, nationalized in September 2018, went through financial difficulties the following year and ended up being financed by investors supported by the Chinese state in around US $ 1 billion. Sales soared in the last five months of the year, with Nio selling 7,000 vehicles in December alone. Now the startup wants to start an internationalization plan in the second half of 2021, starting in Europe.
Li Auto announced last Friday a total of 32,624 units sold with only 12 months of activity. Sales of the brand’s first model, the Li One SUV, reached a monthly high of 6,126 in December, according to the brand.
Finally, Xpeng says it sold 27,041 vehicles in 2020 – more than double that of the previous year. In December alone, 5,700 cars of this Chinese brand were sold.