Manufacturing News

EV sales lose steam as Beijing halts subsidies

Sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids lost steam in October after the government halted incentives in the wake of a probe into sales subsidies.

EV and plug-in hybrid deliveries increased 8.1 percent from a year earlier to 44,000 vehicles last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Automakers delivered 39,000 EVs and 5,000 plug-in hybrids in October.

Thanks to robust sales before the incentives were suspended, deliveries in the first ten months jumped 82 percent to 337,000 vehicles.

For the year to date, automakers sold 258,000 EVs and 79,000 plug-in hybrids.

Beijing halted subsidies after investigators concluded that automakers had inflated sales to qualify for more subsidies.

So far, six electric bus makers and one automaker -- Lifan Industry Co. -- have been penalized. Suzhou Gemsea Coach Manufacturing Co. had its production license revoked, while the other five bus makers received hefty fines.

Likewise, Lifan will lose 114 million yuan ($17 million) in subsidies it expected to receive for 2,395 EVs sold last year. It also is ineligible for subsidies this year.

Other companies also face penalties and Beijing has not indicated when the subsidies will resume.

In China, only domestically produced EVs, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell powered vehicles qualify for the subsidies.

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