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Clean energy vehicles gains popularity in China

According to a recent report from Nielsen, the popularity of clean energy vehicles among Chinese consumers is rising, with 27% of car-buyers willing to consider purchasing Blade Electric Vehicles (BEV), and 25% interested in Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). This is the first time that pro-BEV buyers outnumber those that are pro-PHEV.

“As clean energy solutions continue to grow in importance globally, consumers in China are also taking note of the benefits of owning an electric vehicle. Today we’re seeing a massive opportunity emerging for Gas-Electricity Hybrid Vehicles (GEHV) and BEVs are also growing in popularity. We’re seeing that buyer and driver satisfaction levels are not only very high, but are only going to improve,” said Olive Zhang, vice-president of Nielsen China.

According to Nielsen’s “2017 Joint Survey on the Clean Energy Market”, from 2012 to 2016, the willingness for buying PHEV (from 2% in 2012 to 22% in 2016) was higher than that of BEV (from 1% in 2012 to 14% in 2016). But in 2017, the amount of consumers willing to buy BEV (27%) now outnumbers that of PHEV (25%).

Meanwhile, 60% of clean energy vehicle buyers research clean energy vehicles online. About a quarter of consumers even went to see and try test-driving of these clean energy vehicles.

Additionally, buyers’ satisfaction for clean energy vehicles has risen. The overall satisfaction level rose from 4.0 points in 2016 to 4.2 points out of 5 points in 2017. Most high ratings are given by high-end BEV buyers.

The report found that calls for longer battery life is strong particularly among BEV buyers. In 2016, the expected distance was 265km, while the actual distance is only 164km, far below market expectation.

However, the report also indicates that companies producing clean energy vehicles are faced not only with huge opportunities, but also with great pressure. Technology in battery and product improvement should be updated; new competitors are swarming into the market; there is also a decline in subsidy and the distribution of charging stations is imbalanced.

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