China boost for electric market

Sales of electric cars in China were up 300% on 2014 figures in the first 10 months of this year – but that still represents just one per cent of the total number of cars sold in the country.

Official industry figures state that nearly 114,000 electric cars were sold in China from January to October this year.

Government incentives and city pollution are two of the big drivers – air pollution in Beijing reached red alert levels for the first time recently.

By contrast, the US electric car sales market is decelerating as a result of low fuel prices. Just over 90,000 electric and gas-electric hybrid plug ins were sold in the US in the first 10 months of 2015, a seven per cent drop on the previous year.

But while Chinese sales are encouraging, and next year’s figures are expected to reach 250,000 units sold, electric cars still represent just a fraction of the overall Chinese automotive industry.

Between January and October this year, consumers in the country bought an estimated 16.5 million passenger cars.