Competitive electric cars led to explosive growth of China's NEV sector last year, Xu Changming, deputy director of the State Information Center, said at the China EV 100 forum on Sunday.
NEV sales soared 156 percent to 3.27 million units in 2021. In the first two months of this year, the sector jumped 141 percent compared with same period last year.
In 2020, NEV sales accounted for 6 percent of total auto market. The figure increased to 15.7 percent in 2021 and 19.2 percent over the first two months of this year.
The jump is due to NEVs that can compete with gasoline cars, including the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Wuling Hongguang Mini EV and BYD DMI, Xu said.
Local production has cut the prices of Tesla models, making them competitive compared with models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The Model 3 and the Model Y are also driving sales of domestic high-end NEVs and bolstering their acceptance among car buyers.
The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV is an example of competitively priced vehicle in the lower-end market, which is around 30,000 yuan ($4,700).
Xu added that the NEV sector will show rapid growth for a period in the future, but its relationship with traditional cars is competitive rather than alternative if there is no breakthrough in battery technology.