The U.S., Thanks To Tesla, Has A Huge Lead On China In Electric Car Production… For Now!

Visitors look at vehicles at the NIO flagship store in Beijing on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. The chairman of Chinese electric car brand NIO says it plans to start expanding to Western markets next year. William Li said the company might export a battery-swapping service already offered in China that might help it compete with rival Tesla. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China’s economy continues to recover, and its massive market for cars has helped to cut into an electric car world that is still dominated by Tesla.

New players on the scene, Nio, Li Auto, and Xpeng, each hailed huge gains in deliveries and punctuated their 2020 performance with new monthly highs.

Seeking to surge to the top of the emerging marketplace, China has been helped by its government via subsidies and other considerations.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology cited a contrast with traditional sales in the passenger-car market, which was down 7.6% in 2020 through November, by showing electric-vehicle sales were up 4.4% compared with the same time a year prior.

Similar to Tesla’s explosive 2020 growth, Nio was one of the best-performing U.S.-listed Chinese companies, rising more than 1,100%.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has his company comfortably ahead of the Chinese threesome, with deliveries approximately five times more worldwide than China’s three start-ups combined.

For its part, Tesla said Jan. 2 its 180,570 vehicles delivered October through December brought the yearly total to within 450 of the half-million mark that Musk had targeted. Tesla worked to expand operations to meet the rising global demand for battery-powered cars.

In a Business Insider story, Tesla recognized the challenges. “The good news is Tesla has the formula consumers want,” Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, wrote to clients. “The bad news is to keep up with this demand, the company needs to quickly build new factories in Austin, Texas, and Brandenburg, Germany.

“While they made it look easy in Shanghai, ramping production is difficult and will be one of the most important Tesla topics in 2021.”

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