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Electric cars in China

China's EV sales rebound on jolt from Tesla

Subsidies and eased restrictions help spark first rise in 13 months

Local production of Tesla autos helped lift Chinese sales of electric vehicles in July.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's electric vehicle sales grew for the first time in 13 months during July, thanks to the government extending financial incentives and Tesla's local production.

Sales of EVs last month jumped 19.3% on the year to 98,000 units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Tuesday. Tesla's sales in China grew sharply, buoyed by production of the popular Model 3 at its recently opened Shanghai plant.

About a year ago, China cut subsidies for new-energy vehicles, which led to a slump in sales. Though the incentives originally were to be phased out, the country later decided to extend the subsidies as part of an economic stimulus policy in response to the novel coronavirus.

Some localities have offered more generous subsidies for purchases of new-energy vehicles.

China also relaxed restrictions on issuing license plates for electric and other new-energy autos. License plates are being rationed to deal with urban congestion and pollution.

Chinese sales of all new vehicles rose 16.4% in July to 2.11 million units, marking a fourth straight month of growth and three consecutive months of double-digit gains.

Commercial vehicles led the way, soaring 59.4% to 447,000 units. Sales of passenger autos grew 8.5% to 1.66 million units, the third straight month on the plus side.

Sales volume at General Motors' main Chinese joint venture outperformed year-earlier numbers in July. Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and two other Japanese automakers beat their year-earlier results as well.

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