China wants new energy vehicle sales in 2025 to be 25% of all car sales

FILE PHOTO: A charging cable is seen hooked to a car at a State Grid Corporation of China charging point for electric vehicles in Beijing, China March 3, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China hopes new energy vehicle (NEV) sales can reach around a quarter of all car sales in 2025, up from a target of “over 20%” laid out in a 2017 planning document, the industry ministry said on Tuesday in a draft plan for development of the NEV sector.

China’s market for NEVs - which include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells - has been a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster car market, with sales jumping 62% last year, versus a 2.8% drop in all car sales.

But a steep cut in subsidies this year has dented NEV sales in recent months. In October, NEV sales fell 45.6% from a year earlier.

China sold a total of 28.1 million cars in 2018, including 1.3 million NEVs, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, so NEV sales were 4.6% of the overall market.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s draft proposal on NEVs noted that China would keep developing electric vehicle battery technologies, and improve infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and connected vehicles.

The proposal, covering NEV development from 2021 to 2035, did not include sales forecasts or targets for 2030 or 2035.

China is also discussing introducing stricter green car quotas in coming years that would require carmakers to produce a certain amount of NEVs.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by John Ruwitch and Christian Schmollinger