Here are the best-selling electric cars in China so far this year

A Tesla salesperson (L) speaks to a visitor as they sit in a Tesla Model Y car at a Tesla showroom in Beijing on January 5, 2021.
Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — Tesla took two of the top three spots for best-selling electric car models in China, industry data for the first three quarters of the year showed.

That’s well ahead of start-up rivals like Xpeng and Nio, according to data released by China Passenger Car Association on Wednesday.

Here’s the association’s list of the 15 best-selling new energy vehicles in China for the first three quarters of 2021:

1. Hongguang Mini (SAIC-GM-Wuling)
2. Model 3 (Tesla)
3. Model Y (Tesla)
4. Han (BYD)
5. Qin Plus DM-i (BYD)
6. Li One (Li Auto)
7. BenBen EV (Changan)
8. Aion S (GAC Motor spin-off)
9. eQ (Chery)
10. Ora Black Cat (Great Wall Motor)
11. P7 (Xpeng)
12. Song DM (BYD)
13. Nezha V (Hozon Auto)
14. Clever (SAIC Roewe)
15. Qin Plus EV (BYD)

Elon Musk’s automaker sold more than 200,000 electric cars in China during those three quarters — 92,933 Model Ys and 111,751 Model 3s, according to the passenger car association. 

China accounted for about one-fifth of Tesla’s revenue last year. The U.S.-based automaker began delivering its second China-made vehicle, the Model Y, early this year. The company also launched a cheaper version of the car in July.

Tesla’s shares are up nearly 15% so far this year, while the U.S.-listed shares of Nio are down more than 25% and Xpeng’s lost nearly 7% during that time.

On a monthly basis, the data showed the best-selling electric car in China in September remained the budget Hongguang Mini — a tiny vehicle developed by General Motors‘ joint venture with Wuling Motors and state-owned SAIC Motor.

Tesla’s Model Y was the second best-selling electric car in China in September, followed by the older Tesla Model 3, the passenger car association data showed.

Sales of new energy vehicles — a category that includes hybrids and battery-only cars — climbed amid Beijing’s support for the industry. However, passenger car sales overall slumped year-on-year for a fourth-straight month in September.

Chinese battery and electric car company BYD dominated the new energy vehicle best-sellers’ list in September, accounting for five of the top 15 cars sold, the passenger car association data showed.

Xpeng’s P7 sedan ranked 10th, while none of Nio’s models made the top 15 list. In fact, Nio hasn’t been on that monthly list since May, when the Nio ES6 ranked 15th.

Some in China’s auto industry have cast doubt on the accuracy of the association’s figures.

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