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China aims for EVs to account for 50% of all car sales by 2035

China plans for 50% of all new cars sold by 2035 to have battery electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains, according to a new road map laid out by the China Society of Automotive Engineers on Oct. 27.

The projections are divided into three phases, with sales of these new energy vehicles, or NEVs, growing from the current level of 5% of total car sales to 20% by 2025 and 40% by 2030. Battery electric vehicles are expected to account for 95% of NEV sales by 2035, China-SAE Chairman Li Jun announced in Shanghai, according to news reports.

The projection for 2025 is a dial back from the 25% target the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced in December 2019. NEV sales fell 17% year over year in the first nine months of 2020, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers data, despite a 67.7% surge in September.

The remaining 50% of conventional vehicles on Chinese roads in 2035 are to be energy efficient, with fuel consumption decreasing by up to 25% from present-day levels. Carbon dioxide emissions from the Chinese auto industry are expected to peak around 2028 and then drop 20% by 2035, Li said.

The new road map stated that China will reach international standards in overall technology capacity for the development of electric vehicles by 2035. By the same time, connected vehicles integrated with smart cities and intelligent transport systems will be fairly common.

The road map also stated that China will have 1 million fuel-cell vehicles on the road between 2030 and 2035. The implementation includes the rollout of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles.