After the devastation of coronavirus, Chinese car buyers are making their way back to the dealerships to buy EVs so they can avoid going on the bus.
As the veil of Covid-19 slowly lifts from China, buyers are snagging deals on EVs while avoiding the infection risk from public transport.
Sales of all cars have picked up since slumping by as much as 96% during the thick of the crisis, but they are still less than half the levels from a year ago China Passenger Car Association reported EV sales of 47,000 units in March and predicted the market will regain momentum by the middle of the second quarter.
The government and automakers are using a number of enticing tactics to lure people to the showroom. These have included extending state subsidies that were set to end this year, local scrappage deals in some cities, easy test drives, relaxed returns policies and in the case of Tesla free charging.
Renault’s announcement to wrap up ICE production in China could not have come at a better time, therefore. The company will continue with its three EV joint ventures: Jiangxi Jiangling Group Electric Vehicle, with which it will develop four EVs, eGT New Energy Automotive Co., a JV with Dongfeng and Nissan that produces the K-ZE city car, and Brilliance Auto Group, a light commercial builder. After constructing a U.S. $1.2 billion plant in Wuhan, it sold 180,000 vehicles of all types in China in 2019, far below its target of 550,000.