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Adamas Intelligence: Chinese EV buyers opting for big trucks, MPVs and SUVs

The combined battery capacity of EVs—including plug-in and conventional hybrids—sold in China through September this year has reached 245 GWh—more than half the global total and already within shouting distance of the country’s 2022 calendar year tally, according to Adamas Intelligence.

While OEMs and manufacturers are assembling higher capacity battery packs, another factor behind the rapid expansion of battery capacity deployment is Chinese EV buyers’ growing fondness for large trucks, SUVs and MPVs, Adamas said.

The total battery capacity deployed onto Chinese roads in newly sold large pickups—such as the popular Radar Auto RD6 (part of the Geely line-up) and the JAC Motors iEV330P—during the first nine months of the year is up 705% compared the same period in 2022.


While local pickups are still just a tiny portion of the country’s market, and full-size trucks as exemplified by the Rivian R1T haven’t made a dent, bigger is becoming better and more desirable for Chinese EV shoppers, and not just to the benefit of trucks but also other body styles and purposes too, Adamas said.

Through the first nine months of 2023, the battery capacity deployed onto Chinese roads in newly sold large MPVs, such as the Denza D9 minivan and the Zeekr 009 luxury 6-seater, was 280% greater than the same period last year, outstripping overall sales growth of 105% in the MPV category by a wide margin. Deployment growth in small and medium-sized versions of these people carriers also exceeded average battery capacity growth in the country at 65% year-over-year.

The capacity deployed into large SUVs hitting roads in China this year is also growing rapidly. The combined battery capacity deployed in models in this segment—such as the Li Auto L8 and L9, the Hongqi E-HS9, and the ubiquitous Tesla Model Y—is up by 65% even though plug-in hybrid SUVs now constitute a bigger part of this market segment than BEVs.

In contrast, the small and medium car segment in China, represented by the likes of BYD’s Seagull and Dolphin models along with ORA’s Good Cat, only expanded by 9% year-over-year. In terms of the EV sales mix in this bracket, consumer preferences have shifted dramatically. Sales of BEVs and HEVs in the small and medium car segment, surprisingly, are down year-over-year, while PHEV sales have increased by a factor of five.

The rate of overall battery capacity deployment growth in China through September this year (up 37% year-over-year) is running well ahead of unit sales growth (up 27% year-over-year) speaking to consumer preferences for larger form factor vehicles with often beefier battery packs.

—Adamas Intelligence



So much for Green Cars.
I guess the battery cost is not such a problem over there.

- JM


Battery cost is a fake idea. We are well past the point where lifetime costs of EVs is lower than fossil V's.

It reminds me of a story from when I was a kid. Leaded gas, where it was allowed, was always cheaper than unleaded, so the usual people complained that banning unleaded gas was "an attack on the poor." One of the national newspapers looked into it. The key quote came from an oil exec: "why would you think that leaded gas is cheaper to make? We have to advertise it cheap, otherwise nobody in their right mind would buy it."


"Battery cost is a fake idea"
Please explain this statement.

Do you mean batteries are free, or inexpensive, or no longer a problem and EVs are as cheap as ICEs.


I thought I had explained it. The battery cost argument is obsolete. EVs now cost the same or less for the vast majority of buyers who finance their purchase. The ICE sticker price might be slightly less (for reasons that I alluded to) but, once you factor-in fuel and maintenance costs, the average consumer is better-off financially with an EV.
The advantage is greatest for vehicles that are "gas guzzlers," like large SUVs.


Anecdote: my gas minivan has almost 290,000 miles on it with one transmission rebuild of $1400. Other than that, all other repairs and maintenance have cost about $700 yearly.
Electric vehicles often need multiple, replacement motors and batteries to go the distance. The fuel savings are eclipsed by the repair costs.
My next vehicle will likely be a big electric one. I'll do it to lower my pollution, not to save money.


Nocredit, are you forgetting something?

Let's assume you have a 10-year-old Chrysler minivan (other brands are similar). EPA average fuel economy is 20MPG, so you've used 14,500 gallons of gas! That's nearly $40,000, at an average price of $2.50/gallon (which I found online). That's more than you paid for the van in the first place, so you should include it in your costs.

I'm not sure how you figure that a modern EV will need several motors and battery packs. You'll lose some battery capacity, but a faulty pack should be quite rare.


Ex umpteen subsidies EVs do not cost the same as ICE cars, they are way more expensive.

The primary cost of cars is depreciation and maintenance, not fuel.

EVs are far more likely to be written off than ICE cars, as any bump can impact the battery, which is a massively expensive component, so insurance companies don't bother.

In consequence, insurance is also more expensive, and are scrapped earlier than ICE cars.

None of that is to say that at some point there will not be a crossover in costs with ICE, or that the reduced GHG emissions are not worthwhile.

The notion that they are currently cheaper is pure fantasy, however.


Davemart, there was an article in the local paper recently about insuring EVs. It turns-out that this varies greatly by market. For instance, it costs more to insure an EV in the UK, and less in most of the EU.
The notion that EVs are more likely to be scrapped is also problematic. Can you point to any data? All I know is that ICEs are ten times more likely to catch fire, but that's just one insurance risk.

re: "The primary cost of cars is depreciation and maintenance, not fuel", that would depend on how much you drive, wouldn't it? In Nocredireport's example, fuel cost is greater than depreciation (even if you assume that the minivan in question has a current value of $0). Imagine what it would be in a country where gasoline isn't cheap...
Maintenance comes-out in favour of EVs, but not by a significant margin. You'll pay less for brakes, nothing for oil changes and timing belts, but you might pay more for tyres, depending on the model. The rest should even-out.

The economics in 2024 are as follows: if you desire owning a car and you don't drive much, an ICE might cost less. Your car will spend most of its life rusting in your driveway, but you won't pay much for fuel. If you buy a car in order to drive it, you'll spend less overall with an EV. Local conditions move the equation a little bit, but not that much. As the previous example pointed-out, gasoline prices are like a car loan that never ends, even in "cheap gas" countries (USA).


“ The combined battery capacity deployed in models in this segment—such as the Li Auto L8 and L9, the Hongqi E-HS9, and the ubiquitous Tesla Model Y—is up by 65% ”.
This is very relevant to the Global Auto Market.
China understands the EV Market very well:
- Low cost, reliable, i.e. >4000 charge cycles LFP batteries
- EV with Range Extender engines (include in the list above the Geely Radar RD6).

Battery cost is extremely variable except in China, where CATL is selling LFP batteries for $75/kWH. So until production is widespread still unpredictable.

Electric Motors are very reliable and Toyota probably uses more electric motors than anyone. Remember HEV have at least two. However, not all auto manufacturers make very reliable automobiles.
Read this:


A minor correction. Toyota does have a one motor hybrid using the Aisin Direct Shift-6AT transmission. However, even this has an e-axle in the 2023 Crown Crossover RS.

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